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Belleville Philharmonic goes beyond Baroque with Saturday concert

Violinist Philip Tinge will join forces with one of his star students to perform a duet with the Belleville Philharmonic Orchestra on Saturday.

Tinge describes James Ryan, 18, of Marissa, as a hard-working musician and phenomenal violinist.

“It’s very fun to play with a student who has gotten to that caliber,” said Tinge, 50, of O’Fallon. “Both of you can interpret what the other one is thinking — and sometimes feeling — without much talk. It’s a great growing experience.”

Tinge has played with the Philharmonic since 1978 and served as concertmaster since 1994. He teaches violin, performs with Lewis and Clark String Quartet and leads Phil’zHarmoniks.

Ryan is a Southwestern Illinois College student, principal second violin with the Belleville and Centralia orchestras and assistant leader of Phil’zHarmoniks. He’s been taking violin lessons from Tinge for more than 10 years.

“He is my teacher, but we’ve grown from the mindset of student and teacher,” Ryan said. “We’ve grown to view each other as colleagues, and we’re very good friends.”

The Belleville Philharmonic will offer something out of the ordinary on Saturday with its “Baroque and Beyond” concert. Show time is 7:30 p.m. at Union United Methodist Church in Belleville.

“We’ll play several fine pieces that are really well known from the Baroque period,” said conductor Robert Howard. “It’s almost like a list of greatest hits for orchestra and soloists. Everyone knows this music.”

It includes works of Bach and Vivaldi, as well as Jean-Joseph Mouret’s “Fanfare in Rondeau,” which was used as the theme for Masterworks Theatre on PBS for many years.

Tinge and Ryan will perform Bach’s “Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins.”

“The first movement is one of those pieces included in standard Suzuki literature (for teaching),” Tinge said. “The second movement illustrates the ability to weave parts together. It’s just incredibly beautiful. And the third movement is a lively, joyful piece that actually was one of the more virtuosic pieces of its time.”

Trumpeters Dennis Meyer and Soley Hyman will perform another duet, Vivaldi’s “Concerto for Two Trumpets in C Major.”

Hyman is a Kirkwood (Mo.) High School senior who plays in the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra and other ensembles. Meyer has written more than 80 musical arrangements for band, brass quintet and jazz band and composed two concert band selections.

“He is a highly accomplished musician, and he has written a series of band textbooks used at 135 schools,” Howard said.

Another soloist is Gail Long, faculty member at Southwestern Illinois College, organist at Union United and Philharmonic Chorale accompanist. She will perform “Adagio in G Minor for Strings and Organ,” a piece with an intriguing past.

It was published in 1958 by Italian music critic Remo Giazotta. He claimed to have based it on an Tomaso Albinoni manuscript fragment he discovered, but that story was never proven.

“There’s no evidence that one note of it was written by anyone other than Mr. Remo Giazotto,” Howard said, noting the piece became popular anyway. “It was a counterfeit, but who cares? It’s absolutely beautiful.”

The Philharmonic concert will end with “Ancient Airs and Dances” by Ottorino Respighi.

“We’re really emphasizing strings and woodwinds (all evening),” Howard said. “We’ve had an abundance of new string players over the past two years, and ‘Ancient Airs’ in particular has lots of solos for flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon.”

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