Paradise Symphony Orchestra offers a ‘new world’ to the town of Paradise


The Paradise Symphony opens with Fanfare for the Common Man by Aaron Copland Photo credit: Melissa Joseph

Music is often comforting and therapeutic to those in emotional distress. The Paradise Symphony Orchestra held this in mind as they prepared for the Paradise Performing Arts Center’s 61st Annual Opening: “Our New World.”

The opening for the 61st season was coined “Our New World” because it signified the birth of a new world one in the face of the death of an old world. Conductor Lloyd Roby described the theme as watching Paradise begin again and derive togetherness and love from a tragic incident.

The symphony orchestra began with “Fanfare for the Common Man,” a piece that Roby said exemplified the perseverance and endurance of those who survived the Camp Fire. The tune opened with dramatic horns and distinct percussion. The theater was filled with silence as the audience became enveloped in the orchestra’s sound.

When “fanfare” ended, Roby shared his reasoning behind each piece the orchestra was set to play that night.

“Isn’t it just the best thing to see good overcome bad?” Roby said. “Music to me touches my soul very deeply and to hear it being played so well is profound.”

Roby has been conductor of the Paradise Symphony Orchestra for 15 years and that experience showed as the orchestra connected with the audience through a selection of thoughtful, evocative notes.

One of the most impactful songs played was “Song for a Glorious Day,” composed by Trevor Lloyd, a violinist in the Paradise Symphony Orchestra. Lloyd composed the piece specifically for this performance and based it off of the new days to come for Paradise and the bright future ahead of them.

Lloyd set down his violin and rolled out a piano to play “Song for a Glorious Day.” It was lively and emotional as the whole symphony orchestra immersed themselves in the piece. When the piece ended, guests were invited to eat cake and meet the musicians during intermission.

Later, the symphony orchestra would begin their performance of Anton Dvorak’s “New World Symphony,” a dramatic and soulful selection that gave the crowd chills. When finished, Roby reminded the audience to love one another and celebrate each day victoriously.

To see the Paradise Symphony Orchestra perform live, event information can be located on their website.

Melissa Joseph can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @melisstweetz.