Season finale: LC Symphony will present an array of contrasting musical textures

The season finale of the Lake Charles Symphony will take place on Sunday, May 1 at 4:30 p.m. in the historic Cash & Carry building. Lake Charles Symphony artistic adviser Chelsea Tipton II will conduct and said the space was well suited to the size of the orchestra – 34 – for the program’s largest piece.

“For a chamber orchestra, the space is ideal,” Tipton said. “Lots of hard surfaces so it offers a little reverb which helps to warm up the sound.”

He would know. Maestro Tipton conducted from Brooklyn to Budapest. He is in his 13th season as Music Director of The Symphony of Southeast Texas and his seventh season as Principal Pops Conductor with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. He was resident conductor of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra and associate conductor of the Savannah Orchestra for four seasons.

Ten years ago Tipton was chosen to accompany Sting on an extensive European tour and has worked with 19 different European orchestras, as well as in the Canary Islands, Grenada and Cap Roig, Spain.

“Last November, I conducted the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra in my hometown, and the guest artist was Sting,” Tipton said. Having Sting on the program made it so special for family and friends.

Tipton will lead the Lake Charles Orchestra after just three rehearsals, which speaks to the depth of his quality.

“The players of the Lake Charles Symphony Orchestra are exceptional in many ways,” he said.

The concert will begin with Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings”, which Tipton describes as “austere, simplistic and steeped in emotion”. Those familiar with the music from its use in the popular Oliver Stone film “Platoon” might describe it as soulful. Still, don’t expect the music to leave listeners feeling down.

“We like to have contrasting musical textures at any given gig,” Tipton said. “You have to plan the musical evening like you plan a menu, in which the progression of the evening must be a natural direction. And the order of the program is essential.

The next Barber on the symphonic ticket is that of Seville, “Figaro, Figaro, Figaro! (Or at least the music.) Gioachino Antonio Rossini’s composition teases with its pent-up energies, builds and swells, breaks off and finally delivers a satisfying and driving finale. Rossini’s music has been described as playful, and the use of his work in cartoons, commercials, and sitcoms cemented his reputation as one of the great comic minds in the world of opera, particularly his ” William Tell Overture”.

After the enveloping melancholy and the playful pursuit, the orchestra will conclude with Mozart’s “Symphony No. 41 in C major”.

“The summer of 1788 was a dark one for Mozart, marked by financial problems and the death of his 6-year-old daughter, Theresia,” Tipton explained. “Despite these concerns, in the concise period of six weeks, Mozart wrote, among other works, three symphonies which were to be his last, and by common consent, his most extraordinary endeavors in the genre. The last symphony, far to be mournful, often displays feelings of pomp and royal triumph, and is written in the key of C major, a key often used in 18th-century music for festive occasions.

It’s a fitting finale to the Lake Charles Symphony’s 64th season. Pre-concert performance by the Barbe high school “Buccaneer” orchestra. Adult general admission is $65. Student tickets, $30. Visit for more information.