Central UCC has always been one of the anchors in the historic Old Munichburg/Southside of Jefferson City. This church was, for so many years, the center of this community. We are working hard to reclaim that place and that role in Jefferson City. One way we are trying to do that is to open our doors to the wider community with some new and exciting  initiatives.  One of these new ideas is The Southside Philharmonic Orchestra—a new chamber orchestra which will be based here at Central UCC and featuring some of the finest classical musicians from Jefferson City and Columbia. Our very own Dr. Patrick Clark is its Artistic Director and Conductor.  The focus of the orchestra will be on enriching the cultural climate of our community, encouraging excellence in music performance and providing audiences the opportunity to experience a diverse repertoire of music.

The Southside Philharmonic Orchestra is an Arts Outreach of Central United Church of Christ.

Check out SPO’s website at www.southsidephilharmonic.org

Upcoming Events

An Evening at the Opera

 Friday October 18, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.  

Central United Church of Christ (Jefferson City) 

Great Opera Arias & Choruses

Recent Performances

The Southside Philharmonic Orchestra returned to the sanctuary of Central United Church of Christ on May 17 at 7:00 pm for “The Kings of Classical” featuring works from Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. These three masters defined what is known today as the Classical Era in music and we were delighted to perform a selection of their works:

Joseph Haydn spent large portions of his career in remote areas, isolated from the trends of other musicians, which forced him to be original. For much of that career, he was the most celebrated composer in Europe, mentoring Mozart and tutoring Beethoven. In the late 1760s, Haydn began to create works that were more intensely expressive, more passionate, and more daring, such as his “Trauer” (Mourning) Symphony #44.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart exemplified the Viennese Classical ideals of elegance, balance, poise, and sophistication. He began composing at the age of five and performing before European royalty, He is among the most popular of classical composers. Joseph Haydn once wrote of Mozart, “posterity will not see such a talent again in 100 years”. His Piano Concerto No. 17 has been praised for its elegance and extremely beautiful modulations. SPO is honored to feature Gary Sanders as soloist for this performance.

Ludwig van Beethoven grew up in the shadows of Mozart and Haydn, and became a student of the latter after moving to Vienna. Throughout his career, he experienced varying degrees of hearing loss. However, this did not stop him from becoming one of the most influential and most recognized of all composers. Written at the end of his middle period, Beethoven’s Symphony No, 8 is cheerful and light-hearted in places, substantial and elaborate in others. Of the final measures of this symphony, Tchaikovsky noted that it was “one of the greatest symphonic masterpieces of Beethoven”.

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This concert is a reprise of the concert that the Southside Philharmonic Orchestra performed in October at Central United Church of Christ. This time though, the SPO is performing these works at St. Peter’s Church, in a cathedral acoustically designed to enhance the musical effects of the compositions.
A review of the previous concert stated:
“The complexity and sheer elegance of the musical selections from Gabrielli and Monteverde resonated beautifully throughout the rafters. The antiphonal effect from brass performers placed in various locations in the sanctuary and balcony melded into a harmonious confluence of sound. If you were one of the approximately 200 in attendance, you were treated to an evening of auditory bliss. One thing is absolutely certain, Carl Burkel is looking down after last evening’s performance and beaming with joy at the audacity of performing works of this magnitude in Jefferson City.”

If you attended the previous performance, you already know that you’ll want to hear these baroque echoes again. If you were not in attendance at the previous performance, we hope that we have enticed you to attend this time. Tickets are available in advance through the website, or at the door. This is a concert that you will not want to miss.

The Odyssey Chamber Music Series held a Baroque Concerto in the Central UCC sanctuary on Saturday, February 16 in conjunction with the Southside Philharmonic Orchestra. This is the second year that Odyssey and SPO have partnered for this collaboration, which called for a performance in Columbia on Friday evening and the performance in Jefferson City on Saturday. Due to the weather, the Friday evening performance was canceled; the Saturday evening performance went forward though, and those in attendance experienced some truly mesmerizing music.

Odyssey is a well-established orchestra in
Columbia. Because of our partnership with them, it
was integral that things go smoothly to make a
positive impression. We faced some uncertainties
and concerns due to the weather situation, but the
members of Central Church stepped up to make sure
that the evening went as planned. Most of the
musicians were from Columbia and all had wonderful
things to say about the church and its
members. Many church members also attended the
performance and we hope that you enjoyed (and
continue to enjoy) the music that we perform.
We hope to see you Friday March 22 at 7:00pm at St.
Peter’s Catholic Church in Jefferson City for a
performance of “The Early Baroque Reprise!: Echoes
From 17th Century Cathedrals” featuring the
madrigals of Monteverdi and the antiphonal noble
brass of Gabrieli. This is an encore performance of
the October 2018 performance in our sanctuary that
so captivated the audience, but performed this time
in the acoustic confines of St. Peter’s Church. This is a performance you won’t want to miss.
The next performance in the Central UCC sanctuary will be the “Kings of Classical Music” on May 17, comprised of the works of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, and featuring soloist Gary Sanders on Mozart Piano Concert No. 17 

The curtains have closed. The Mouse King has been defeated. Clara is awakening from her dreams. Ballet shoes have been removed. Costumes are put away. Instruments are in their cases. The sets have been struck. The conductor’s baton has been relinquished…for now.

All that is left is to express our heartfelt gratitude to everyone involved in this production — from the amazing dancers from Dancers’ Alley to the impressive musicians of the Southside Philharmonic Orchestra to the multitudes of supporting characters — to those who helped sew or build or paint or sell or promote or help in any other way. But mostly, THANK YOU to the parents, grandparents, and citizens of Jefferson City and the surrounding area for supporting the arts and this production so passionately. Without you and your continuing support, productions such as this would not be possible. Thank you all!

The Southside Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO) opened its 2018-19 season at home in the CUCC Sanctuary with a rare set of early Italian Baroque masterpieces by Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) and Giovanni Gabrieli (1556-1612).

This music is more than 400 years old (!), and would have been heard by audiences contemporary with William Shakespeare. 1600 is typically considered to be the end of the Renaissance and beginning of the Baroque in music. The music by Monteverdi and Gabrieli inevitably exhibits characteristics of both eras but most importantly they both developed bold innovations that would define the Baroque era so commonly associated with Vivaldi and Bach who lived more than a century later.
As unlikely as this may seem, the music of Claudio Monteverdi would have struck the ears of his audiences at the time with effect similar to the Beatles sound to audiences in 1960’s America. Monteverdi’s music was startlingly fresh, abandoning much of the formal discipline from the previous (15th) century—a‘pure science of relationships’ in the words of
American musicologist Lewis Lockwood—in favor of emotionally expressive music that served the meaning of the text. In the case of Monteverdi’s madrigals, the music and text are achingly poignant, and one must hear this to appreciate the truth of this statement.

All noble brass writing through to the present finds its origin in the compositional methods of Gabrieli who was famous in St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice for writing magnificent works that split brass choirs into every available corner of the cathedral for dramatic spatial effect. SPO presented seven of Gabrieli’s brass works, some containing twelve independent parts and instruments simultaneously, in the authentic antiphonal style within the Central United Church of Christ—this was a sonic event that had probably never been attempted in CUCC and should have been an unforgettable experience for attendees.