Civic Orchestra of Tucson will highlight one of its own in its annual All-American Concert this weekend.

The volunteer community orchestra, under the baton of longtime music director Herschel Kreloff, will perform the world premiere of orchestra bass player Alisha Nichols' "The Light of Tucson."

The piece, inspired by the 2011 Tucson mass shooting that killed six people and gravely injured then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 12 others, borrows from Harry Dixon Loes' 1920s children's gospel "This Little Light of Mine." The work incorporates spoken word and singing from the orchestra. Glass harmonica adds a soft melody against the backdrop of softly played flutes, Kreloff explained.

The concert also includes Ives' Second Symphony, which makes overt references to Brahms.

"Essentially it's a Brahms orchestra, but it includes all these strange and wonderful quotations from this variety of sources … including hymns and patriotic songs," Kreloff said. "(Ives was) a terrifically innovative composer ... and some of his innovations are present in this symphony."

The concert opens with Barber's bright Overture to "School for Scandal," the composer's first for full orchestra that he composed in 1931 while still attending Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music.

If you go

• What: Civic Orchestra of Tucson All-American Concert.

• When and where: 7 p.m. Saturday at Crowder Hall, North Park Avenue and East Speedway on the University of Arizona campus; 3 p.m. Sunday at Amphitheater High School, 125 W. Yavapai Road, off North Oracle Road.

• Admission: Free.

• Program: Barber's Overture to "School for Scandal"; Charles T. Griffes' "The White Peacock"; Alisha Nichols' "The Light of Tucson" (world premiere); Kern's Selections from "Show Boat"; Ives' Symphony No. 2.

Contact Cathalena E. Burch at or 573-4642.