Originally Published: April 26, 2017 5:54 a.m.
On Friday, April 7, I was one member of an appreciative audience at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church as the Prescott Chamber Orchestra presented a program called “Exotic Spring.” The orchestra, under Dr. Phil Kuhns’ inspired direction, enthralled us with pieces by Spanish composer Juan Arriaga and English composer George Butterworth; the players also provided nimble back-up for Peter Mueller’s nuanced performance of Danish composer Launy Grondahl’s “Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra,” and for the piece-de-resistance — Prescott composer Henry Flurry’s “Ragtime Dances for Marimba and Orchestra.”
Flurry’s composition was written for, dedicated to, and performed on marimba by his talented wife, Maria Flurry.
Within each of the piece’s five captivating movements, Ms. Flurry’s marimba partnered for a ragtime dance with an individual instrument from the orchestra. Among the five dances were a waltz with a French horn, a polka with a flute, and — with clarinetist Gary Flowers and Ms. Flurry flourishing bowler hats — a foxtrot as the dazzling finale.
Maria Flurry clearly relished each of her partners, dancing her mallets over the marimba with elegance and warmth — and giving voice to the charismatic spirit of her husband’s remarkable composition for this, its premiere performance. At its conclusion, the audience rewarded the orchestra with a well-deserved ovation.
I’ve felt this before — and my evening at “Exotic Spring” re-confirms it: The Prescott community is blessed with world-class musicians. How lucky we are!