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Wyoming Symphony Orchestra to perform a University of Wyoming graduate student's composition

A performance of the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra.
Wyoming Symphony Orchestra
A performance of the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra.

The Wyoming Symphony Orchestra (WSO) continues its 2024 season with a concert on Saturday, February 3, in Casper. It's the first performance of the year. It will be performing Beehthoven’s Symphony No. 6, Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto, and the world premiere of “Flight of the Golden Bird.” This piece was composed by second year graduate student at the University of Wyoming (UW), Monica Mendoza. Her piece was selected out of a handful submitted by UW students.

“I'm so thrilled that a symphony orchestra is going to be playing something I wrote. That's just kind of mind blowing to me,” Mendoza said. “Usually, it's just me and my friends or we have had some amazing guest artists here in the past who have played our pieces, but to have an entire orchestra doing it is really incredible to me.”

She was inspired by the wildlife in the state, specifically Wyoming’s state bird, the Western Meadowlark. Her piece will tell the story of the bird flying through a storm and later taking shelter. She used woodwinds to create an avian feel to the piece.

“It's about writing something that people are going to want to play,” she said. “You want it to be an enjoyable experience for the musicians, and it's not going to be an enjoyable experience if you write something that shows you didn't research the instrument, and therefore it's difficult to play.”

The concert will take place in Casper at 7:30 PM at Natrona County High School’s John F. Welsh Auditorium. The WSO's concert season “Journeys'' will continue on March 2 with “Between Worlds' ', and the final concert, “Passage' ' on May 11.

Corrected: January 31, 2024 at 4:26 PM MST
A previous version of this story stated that the first performance of the WSO is on February 4. It is actually on February 3.
Originally from Casper, Wyoming, Taylor moved to Laramie, Wyoming in the fall of 2020. She is a fourth-year journalism major with a minor in jazz at the University of Wyoming. She has participated in many musical ensembles on campus, including the University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra and the Western Thunder Marching Band. In her free time, she enjoys playing video games, watching cartoons, camping, and swimming.
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