April 14, 2017

On Sunday, May 7 at 3 pm, the Century Chamber Orchestra will give the world premiere performance of a new work by composer and Century faculty member Dr. Shirley Mier. Entitled Of Lakes and Legends, this suite of pieces showcases the stories and historic locations in our college’s own community of White Bear Lake.

The piece is in four movements. “The Legend of the White Bear” depicts the Native American legend that gave White Bear Lake its name. “Ride on the Rails” seeks to re-create the inaugural train ride when the line from St. Paul to White Bear Lake first opened in 1868. “Parlor Recital” captures the sound and mood of the concerts given years ago in the parlor of the historic Fillebrown House in downtown White Bear Lake. “Regatta” depicts the speed and spirit of the boat races still hosted by the White Bear Yacht Club.

Dr. Mier composed Of Lakes and Legends as part of her Fall 2016 sabbatical project. In writing the work, she consulted with the White Bear Lake Area Historical Society to research the history of the town, and discussed her ideas with conductor Elliot Wilcox and orchestra members, many of whom are longtime residents of the community. Dr. Mier has conducted the Century Chamber Orchestra in past seasons and has written arrangements and orchestrations for them, but this is the first time she has composed an original work specifically for the ensemble. Maestro Wilcox says, “We are fortunate to have a composer on our faculty who can write such an exciting and wonderful work for orchestra. The orchestra is really enjoying rehearsing the work and is excited about performing it at the premiere in May!”

The Century Chamber Orchestra will premiere this work at their spring concert on Sunday, May 7 at 3 pm in the West Campus Theatre at Century College.