news-category: Campus News

Gardner-Webb Orchestra Presents Free Concert

a photo of the GWU orchestra on stage
Photo by Sarah Garrison / GWU Photo Staff

Crest Chamber Orchestra and Members of Burns High Orchestra Join Program at 8 p.m. in Dover Theatre

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—The Gardner-Webb University Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Patricia Sparti, professor of music, presents a free concert on Nov. 21 at 8 p.m. in Dover Theatre. The program also features the Crest High School Chamber Orchestra directed by 1997 alumnus Peter Strickland and members of the Burns High Orchestra and their director, 2018 alumnus Billy Norton.

The soloist is violinist Hannah Thurman, a Gardner-Webb music education major who graduates next month. Both Thurman and Norton share a connection to Strickland. She was a student in Strickland’s orchestra, and Norton was a student-teacher under Strickland.

A photo of Hannah Thurman holding her violin
Hannah Thurman

Thurman is the recipient of music and academic scholarships and currently serves as president for the Gardner-Webb Chapter of National Association for Music Education. Thurman began studying violin at the age of 11. She performs regularly at community events such as weddings, church gatherings, and other celebrations. She is concertmaster of the GWU Orchestra, and this is her third solo appearance with the orchestra. She is from the studio of Dr. Nathan Southwick.

Sparti shared her thoughts about the music she chose for the program. “‘Resurgences!’ is the theme—new hope and expressing the joy and exhilaration of a new beginning,” she elaborated. “Each section ends with dances that are a lot of fun—Copland’s ‘Hoedown’ from Rodeo and Danzon #2 by Marquez, a Mexican dance, which is a party from beginning to end.”

The program also features:

  • Resurgences, Op. 162 by Robert Sheldon.
  • Romance for Violin and Orchestra in F Major, Op. 50 by Beethoven.
  • Capriol Suite for String Orchestra by Peter Warlock.
  • The Polar Express by Alan Silvestri/Glen Ballard, Arr. Jerry Brubaker.

Auxiliary aids will be made available to persons with disabilities upon request 10 working days prior to the event. Please call 704-406-4270 or email [email protected] with your request.

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to nine colleges and schools, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at

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