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Charlotte Orchestra to Play Winthrop Professor's Music

Quick Facts

 The Charlotte Civic Orchestra will premiere "Torque," an original composition by faculty member Ron Parks, Nov. 12.
 The 3 p.m. concert will be held at University City Methodist Church.

Ron Parks

ROCK HILL, S.C. - In a time when many musical groups only play well-known established pieces, the Charlotte Civic Orchestra will feature on Nov. 12 the world premier of "Torque," an original composition written for the orchestra by Winthrop University faculty member Ron Parks.

Parks said he is fortunate to live in a region that is willing to try out new material. "We’re in a unique time with orchestras. For the first time, the majority of the pieces they play are 100 years old and older. Many orchestra directors are afraid to take a chance on new pieces and new composers. They play what the audience knows," said Parks, assistant professor of music.

Some of his peers at major universities have never had one of their orchestral works read or performed. "I feel very fortunate that the Charlotte Civic Orchestra will perform this original work," said Parks, a North Carolina native. "This is a personal milestone for me."

The conductor for the 3 p.m. concert at University City United Methodist Church is Alan Yamamoto, resident conductor of the Charlotte Symphony. A former assistant conductor of the Boston Philharmonic, he is an advocate of new music as founder and conductor of the Modern Music Festival.

Parks writes orchestral works, instrumental and vocal chamber music, choral music, electro acoustic music, and interactive computer music. He won a 2004 Aaron Copland Award and residency and was named the 2005 Outstanding Junior Professor Award at Winthrop.

"Torque" is one of three works scheduled for the Nov. 12 concert. Parks said the 10-minute piece is all about thing rotating. "When force is applied, it causes things to rotate," he said.

Among the orchestra members performing with the Charlotte Civic Orchestra will be Winthrop student David Blair on the bass clarinet, instructor Sarita Maxwell on the tuba and Elda Franklin, emeritus professor of music, on the viola. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors.

For more information, contact the Charlotte Civic Orchestra at 704/344-0098 or contact Parks at 803/323-4608 or

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