Orchestra opens art contest for ‘The Planets’

Madison City Community Orchestra has opened an art competition that promotes its fall production of "The Planets." CONTRIBUTED
Madison City Community Orchestra has opened an art competition that promotes its fall production of “The Planets.” CONTRIBUTED

MADISON – To promote its fall production of “The Planets,” Madison City Community Orchestra (MCCO) encourages visual artists to enter an art competition.

“Calling all artists! In addition to MCCO’s performance of ‘The Planets’ complete works, we’d like to have the community’s artistic interpretation of this masterpiece,” orchestra director Sandy Weisner said.

“MCCO and Madison Arts Council are celebrating the 100th anniversary of Gustav Holst’s ‘The Planets,'” Weisner said. MCCO will present its tribute to this orchestral suite’s centennial anniversary on Oct. 30 at Madison United Methodist Church, 127 Church St.

On submitted artwork, the artist should interpret the astrological meaning of the planets, as defined by Holst for one or more of the movements. The medium can be sculpture; painting or drawing on poster (16 by 20 inches maximum); or other category.

Four categories for age apply in the contest: elementary, junior high, high school and adult. MCCO will award cash prizes for first through third places in each category, along with an overall grand prize.

Deadline for art entries is Sept 30. Submit to MCCO at 783 Sienna Vista Drive in Madison. All entries will be displayed at MCCO’s concert on Oct. 30 at Madison UMC. Winners will be announced at the concert.

Approximately 85 players in MCCO will perform a seven-movement orchestral suite for “The Planets,” written between 1914 and 1916. Each movement of the suite is named after a planet of the solar system and its corresponding astrological character, as defined by Holst:

* Mars, the Bringer of War
* Venus, the Bringer of Peace
* Mercury, the Winged Messenger
* Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity
* Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age
* Uranus, the Magician
* Neptune, the Mystic

According to Holst’s webpage, he seemed to consider “The Planets” a progression of life. For example, “Mars perhaps serves as a rocky and tormenting beginning. In fact, some have called this movement the most devastating piece of music ever,” Weisner said.

“We’ll host a silent auction of donated pieces of art that will help foster the continuation of orchestral and other mediums of art,” Weisner said. MCCO and MAC will split proceeds.

For more information, visit madisoncitycommunityorchestra.org or gustavholst.info/compositions/listing.php?work=18.

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