In celebration of NASA Langley’s 100th Anniversary, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra will perform Holst’s The Planets! at three venues around Hampton Roads on three consecutive evenings – Friday, September 22 at Ferguson Center for the Arts in Newport News, Saturday, September 23 at Chrysler Hall in Norfolk and Sunday, September 24 at Sandler Center in Virginia Beach.
How is it possible that NASA Langley is 100 years old? They haven’t been shooting up rockets for 100 years. The United State’s first aeronautical research laboratory broke ground in 1917 for NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). Langley was NASA’s first field center, dedicated to “scientific exploration of the air above us.”
The goal of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in Hampton was to “solve the fundamental problems of flight.”
For this celebration of Langley’s first 100 years, the VSO is proud to feature five-time Grammy winning bassist Victor Wooten.
Wooten is a Newport News native and a graduate of Denbigh High School. Rolling Stone named him one of the “top 10 Bassists of all time. “ He has been the electric bassist for Bela Fleck and the Flecktones since the group’s formation in 1988. Victor Wooten was born into an Air Force family and moved around until settling in Newport News. His passion is playing the bass, but he also loves to teach. He will be teaching a master class in partnership with Old Dominion University on September 20.
The performance will be conducted by JoAnn Falletta, along with members of the Women of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus.
The Planets is a seven-movement orchestral suite, written in the early 20th century by English composer, Gustav Holst. Each movement is dedicated to a planet, from Venus to Neptune.
The Planets has been the inspiration for many science fiction and fantasy scores from Star Wars to Gladiator. Death Metal and progressive rock bands love the music from the “Mars” movement of The Planets. This is big sound, inspirational music, played by the full Virginia Symphony Orchestra with the great electric bass of Victor Wooten.
Victor Wooten will be performing one of his original compositions, The Bass Whisperer. This piece, featuring Wooten’s electric bass, was composed by Wooten and Conni Ellisor. Ellisor is a Nashville-based composer. The Bass Whiperer “bridges the classical tradition with the pop/jazz electric bass guitar tradition by creating a piece that is true to both.”
For more information and to purchase tickets, go to here.