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Greenville orchestra premieres the work of Youngstown composer

The Greenville Symphony Orchestra will premiere a piece by a Youngstown composer at its concert on Saturday.

The program conducted by Michael Gelfand will feature Todd Maki’s “The Little Orchestra That Could.” Maki drew upon the history of the GSO for inspiration. Through the years, there were challenges, setbacks and uncertainty that the ensemble overcame, much like the children’s book “The Little Engine That Could.”

It starts with a single instrument, adding more and more as it continues.

According to Maki, “I want it to be a song that people understand, whether they are 4 or 94 … It is built about what Greenville is and who the players are. What does a mighty orchestra in the middle of nowhere that is still around sound like? Ninety-nine percent of the time, I think about what (life) would sound like when it is set to music.”

Maki’s writing credits include scores for television, film and commercials, many of which have been performed at the Youngstown Scoring Stage, which Maki started in 2013. Members of the GSO have performed for many of those recordings.

The concert starts at 3 p.m. Saturday at Passavant Center on the campus of Thiel College, Greenville, Pa. Tickets are $20 if purchased in advance at thegreenvillesymphony.org and $25 at the door.

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