The soloist for a concerto has a distinctive voice, rising above the harmonies of the orchestra behind it.
Now multiply that voice by three and give enough wiggle room to improvise and embellish.
That’s what you get with Vivaldi’s Concerto for Three Violins and String Orchestra, the centerpiece of a fundraising concert Sunday afternoon for Tucson Junior Strings.
A trio of Tucson Symphony Orchestra past and present concertmasters — the incumbent Lauren Rustad Roth, last year’s acting concertmaster Joseph Rousos-Hammond and former concertmaster Steven Moeckel, now concertmaster for the Phoenix Symphony — will join TJS’ top Chamber 1 Orchestra. Proceeds will send the orchestra to Boston this summer for its annual training tour at the Boston Conservatory.
“People interpret Vivaldi differently. I have a loose interpretation,” said Roth, a Seattle native who joined the TSO last fall. “I like to embellish. I like to improvise. And this music is fun for us to do that. There’s a lot of fun for the soloist.”
The piece poses similar challenges and opportunities for the orchestra, said longtime TJS Music Director Dennis R. Bourret.
TJS holds a concert every year to raise money to send the Chamber 1 Orchestra to its annual summer training tour. The orchestra members are mentored and coached by noted musicians and teachers from some of the country’s top chamber ensembles and conservatories, including New York’s Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.
“We get people who do what we do at a high level of professionalism to coach us,” said Bourret, who added that the experience is priceless for his young musicians, who have been praised over the years for their talents and the breadth of repertoire. One coach told the kids that they proved wrong the notion that good music is made mostly on the East Coast, Bourret recalled.
Tucson Junior Strings, which Bourret’s wife helped launch in 1968, has graduated about 5,000 students, hundreds of whom have gone on to professional performance and teaching careers.
This is Roth’s first Tucson performance outside of the UA and the TSO.
Bourret said the 27-musician-strong TJS Chamber 1 also will perform two movements of Dvorák’s Serenade for String Orchestra and several light classics to round out the program.