University Symphony Orchestra Premieres New Work With Professor Ronda Mains

Ronda Mains
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Ronda Mains

The University Symphony Orchestra presents their first concert of the spring season with a program called "Angelic Voices." Under the direction of Robert Mueller, the symphony's program includes Russian Easter Overture by Rimsky-Korsakov, "Voi avete un cor fedele" by Mozart, and a premiere performance of Mueller's Breath of Angels, a concerto for flute and orchestra. The concert will be at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25, in the Faulkner Performing Arts Center.

Rhonda Mains, chair of the Department of Music and professor of flute, will premiere Mueller's work Breath of Angels. Mains commissioned the piece from Mueller after he approached her to play a concerto with the University Symphony Orchestra. "As I was thinking about what I'd like to play with him, I thought, why not add to the flute literature and commission a piece from him," Mains said. Mueller was excited to compose the piece, and he wrote Breath of Angels quickly thereafter, Mains said.

Mains said the piece is ethereal, inspiring and beautiful, and she's excited for instruments to breathe life into the newly composed work. Premiering a new piece posed many challenges because there are no other performances to reference. "You have to spend time trying to figure out the intent of a newly commissioned work," Mains said.

In addition to the premiere by Mains, the orchestra welcomes Dennese Adkins as featured soloists in "Voi avete un cor fedele" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Adkins is one of the winners of the 2018 Concerto/Aria competition at the University of Arkansas, which awarded her the honor to perform with the University Symphony Orchestra.

Tickets for the concert are on sale now and can be found at


Justin R. Hunter, instructor
Department of Music


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