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SEK Symphony opens season on Sept. 23

September 14, 2012 12:00AM

The Southeast Kansas Symphony opens its 2012-2013 concert season, “Great Expectations, The Music Awaits,” on Sunday, Sept. 23, with a 3 p.m. concert in Pittsburg’s Memorial Auditorium.

The concert program includes “Egmont Overture,” by Ludwig van Beethoven; “Kol Nidrei,” by Max Bruch and featuring cellist Matthew Herren; and Symphony No. 7 in A Major Op. 92, by Ludwig van Beethoven.

This is the first concert for the symphony under the direction of Raúl Antonio Munguía, a new member of the Pittsburg State University Department of Music faculty, where he serves as director of orchestras and teaches violin and viola.

A doctoral candidate at Texas Tech University, Munguía earned a master’s degree in music in violin performance and orchestral conducting from Northwestern State University of Louisiana. He earned a bachelor’s degree in violin performance from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Munguía was born in Honduras, where he started playing violin when he was 12.

Munguía  combines his work in orchestral conducting with an active career as an orchestral musician and a chamber player. As a violinist, he has held the concertmaster chair with the San Pedro Sula Chamber Orchestra, the Honduran Symphony Orchestra, the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra, and the University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra.

Munguía has been guest conductor of the Honduras Philharmonic Orchestra, the San Pedro Sula Chamber Orchestra, the University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, The Universidad Federal de Alagoas Symphony Orchestra, and the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra.

Featured Cellist Matthew Herren is active in the musical life of southeast Kansas and New York City. He regularly appears at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center with the Orchestra of St. Luke's and with the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, Lawrence Chamber Orchestra, and Symphony of Northwest Arkansas.

As a member of Trio Fedele and the New York Chamber Soloists, Herren toured extensively in the U.S., with performances at major venues including Alice Tully Hall, the National Gallery, and Philadelphia's Academy of Music.

Herren has played, often as principal cello, under many of today's most distinguished conductors. In the world of popular music, Herren has appeared with Metallica at Madison Square Garden, Sting, Billy Joel, and James Taylor at Carnegie Hall, and with Vanessa Williams and Luciano Pavarotti on Saturday Night Live.

Special projects of recent seasons include period-instrument chamber music with the Helicon Ensemble in New York City, more than 80 performances in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico as principal cellist of Star Wars: In Concert, and summer residencies at the Bay View Music Festival in Michigan and the Chamber Music Conference at Bennington College, Vt.

A graduate of the Juilliard School, Herren is lecturer in cello at Pittsburg State University. He also serves on the music faculty of Cottey College in Nevada, Mo.

Tickets for the performance are $7 for adults and $5 for students ages 13-18. PSU students are admitted free with ID. Children 5-12 are admitted free with an adult who has purchased a ticket and children 4 and younger are admitted free. Tickets are available at the PSU Ticket Office in the Weede PE Building or by phone using a credit card at 620-235-4796.

©2012 Pittsburg State University