Photo by Larisa Birta on Unsplash

There is nothing quite like classical music to set the right tone for the new Year. The West Valley Symphony will be celebrating friends, colleagues and England during performances in January and February.

Now in its 53rd season, under the baton of Music Director and Conductor Maestro Cal Stewart Kellogg the Symphony will perform works by English composers Sir William Turner Walton and Sir Edgar Elgar in a Salute to England, featuring violist Nancy Buck at 2 p.m., on Sunday, Jan. 16.

On Feb. 13, also at 2 p.m., the orchestra will perform works by Johann Strauss, Johannes Brahms and Antonin Dvořák, who were, as the theme of the evening points out, Friends and Colleagues. Guest violinist Katherine McLin will perform with the symphony.

Performances will take place at The Vista Center for the Arts, 15660 N. Parkway Place in Surprise. Single adult tickets are on sale at The Vista Center Box Office beginning at $30.

West Valley Symphony - (Excerpt) Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, Franz Liszt

The January concert will be highlighted by Walton’s Orb and Sceptre March and Violin Concertoand Elgar’s Variations on an Original Theme “Enigma.”

In February, concertgoers will be treated to Strauss’ iconic Die Fledermaus Overture, Brahms’ Concerto in D Major and Dvořák’s Symphony in G Major.

The connections between the composers are well documented. Dvořák became friends with celebrated composer Brahms, who greatly influenced him and also connected him with his own publisher.

Brahms had become acquainted with Johann Strauss II, who was eight years his senior, in the 1870s, but their close friendship blossomed in 1889 and after. Brahms admired much of Strauss's music.

Asian woman in floral dress Nancy Buck

Buck, the guest artist for the January concert, a member of the faculty at Arizona State University since 2002, is in great demand as a chamber musician and artistic collaborator.

McLin, also a member of the staff at the ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, also enjoys an extremely varied and prolific performing career as a concerto soloist, recitalist and chamber and orchestral musician. She has made more than 100 appearances with orchestras across the country.

White woman holding a violin Katherine McLin

Following the January and February performances, the West Valley Symphony will present:

• Famous Opera Arias sung by the Phoenician Tenors on March 21. Tenors Guillermo Ontiveros, Johnny Huerta and Robert Erlichman will perform arias by Verdi, Donizette, Leoncavallo and Puccini.

• Remembering Leroy Anderson and Richard Rodgers on April 18. The orchestra will perform Anderson’s compositions Belle of the Ball; The Syncopated Clock; The Waltzing Cat; The Typewriter; Fiddle Faddle; Plink, Plank, Plunk; Trumpeter’s Lullaby; Bugler’s Holiday; and Forgotten Dreams. Richard Rodgers’ pieces include Oklahoma, The King and I, Carousel, South Pacific and The Sound of Music.

For more information about the West Valley Symphony, visit

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