Explore our oceans and our lands with the UCF Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Chung Park.
Art meets science! Explore our oceans and our lands with the UCF Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Chung Park. First, take a stroll through the countryside with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 “Pastoral.” Listen for the chirping birds, a babbling brook, the thunderstorm and the frolicking humans in this bucolic masterpiece while watching animations from the School of Visual Arts and Design.
Then dive into the seas in the Florida premiere of Stella Sung’s Oceana, a multimedia composition with an accompanying high-definition film by underwater photographer/filmmaker Annie Crawley, that lets patrons swim with whales to learn about marine conservancy and ocean noise pollution. During the concert, conservation experts discuss what we can do to protect our marine and coastal environments. Visit the related exhibit from UCF Coastal in the lobby area throughout the week.
Students can use code ILOVEUCF2022 for a $5 discount. Valid student ID required.
UCF Symphony Orchestra
An Exploration of Sea and Land
In the spring of 2016, Maestro Christopher Wilkins (Music Dir., Akron Symphony and Boston Landmarks Orchestra) and I attended a lecture at the New England Aquarium given by marine biologists Scott Kraus (Senior Science Advisor, NEAq) and Christopher Clark (Cornell University) in which we learned about the problems of ocean noise pollution caused by seismic testing, the air guns used for this process, large ships and ocean vessels, and other man-made noises. The effects of these noises can be devastating for all marine species from fish to plankton, but particularly for those that depend upon sound waves for their communication, finding food sources, and navigation.
With this knowledge in mind, I decided that my new composition, Oceana, would have a focal point of reminding us of how important the ecosystems of the oceans are for not only marine life but for human life as well. I have compiled a soundtrack comprised of recordings of marine life animal sounds (various whale, dolphin, seals, and other sounds) that runs throughout the piece. The work is divided into three basic sections; 1) the beauty, majesty, and mystery of the seas and the life forms that live there, 2) the man-made disturbances of that ecosystem, and 3) the hope that humans can find a balance of living alongside the oceans and marine life so that our co-existence is based upon respect and understanding and knowledge. Working with the NEAq and other scientists, Maestro Wilkins, and marine underwater film-maker/ photographer/scuba diver and educator Annie Crawley, we have formed a collaborative effort in bringing not only the composition to life, but to help bridge a deeper understanding and appreciation for the wonders of the oceans.
Special thanks to Matt Tracy (audio engineer/sound designer), Annie Crawley, Scott Kraus, Linda Walters, Kate Mansfield, John Murray, Josyln Parchman, Eric Michael, UCF Coastal, UCF College of Sciences, UCF College of Arts and Humanities, UCF Nicholson School of Communication and Media, UCF School of Visual Arts and Design, UCF “Celebrates the Arts” team.
Here are things that YOU can do to learn to about ocean noise pollution and marine conservancy:
- Ocean Conservation Society
- Managing Underwater Noise Pollution
- Florida Microplastic Awareness Project
- Oyster Reef Habitat Conservation
- Discovery of Sound in the Sea
- Sea Turtle Program
- Marine Turtle Specialist Group
Fontane di Roma (Fountains of Rome), by Ottorino Respighi (1879–1936)
I. La fontana di Valle Giulia all’Alba (The Fountain of Valle Giulia at Dawn)
II. La fontana del Tritone al mattino (The Triton Fountain in the Morning)
III. La fontana di Trevi al meriggio (The Trevi Fountain at Noon)
IV. La fontana di Villa Medici al tramonto (The Villa Medici Fountain at Sunset)
Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68, “Pastoral,” by Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770–1827)
I. Allegro ma non troppo
II. Andante molto mosso
OCEANA, by Stella Sung
Stella Sung, DMA
Pegasus Professor, Trustees Chair Professor, Director of UCF CREATE
D.M.A in Piano Performance, University of Texas at Austin
M.F.A in Music Composition, University of Florida
B.M in Piano Performance, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Recent accolades include:
- New composition commission for the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, 2022-23 season
- “Commissioning Grant for Female Composers” award, Opera America (2021)
- National Endowment for the Arts award for The Secret River opera (2021), Opera Orlando
- Commission of Oceana (2017), Boston Landmarks Orchestra (Boston, MA)
- “Music Alive” award and residency with the Dayton (Dayton, OH) Performing Arts Alliance as Composer-in-Residence (2013-16) sponsored by New Music USA, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, ASCAP, the Aaron Copland Foundation, and the League of American Orchestras.
- Composer-in-Residence, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra (2007-11)
“Most people don’t think of artists as doing ‘research,’ but we often prepare our work with a great deal of study, preparation, and investigation which are essential to the outcome of the artistic process” says Stella Sung, now in her 25th year at UCF. Sung states that she has always found that the opportunity to forge new ideas, programs, and collaborations at UCF has been an important part of her work both as a composer and as Director of UCF’s Center for Research and Education in Arts, Technology, and Entertainment (CREATE).
Sung is a nationally and internationally recognized composer with her work having been performed by major orchestras, ensembles, and soloists in the US and abroad. Aaron Keebough of the Boston Classical review wrote of Sung’s most recent large orchestral work, Oceana, “Wilkins [Christopher] and the Landmarks Orchestra offered a vivid rendering of this intriguing mix of music, science, and activism to make Sung and Crawley’s environmentalist message ring clearly without being preachy” ( August 16, 2018). For this work, Sung searched for information about the issue of ocean noise pollution and decided that her composition would reflect the concern, awareness, and the search for solutions to the problem. Having already been interested in marine conservancy by working with UCF marine biologist Kate Mansfield, PhD. in learning about sea turtles, Sung began research on the causes of ocean noise pollution. She then began working with ocean conservationist and film-maker Annie Crawley (based in Seattle, WA) to create a work that stressed the importance of preserving the oceans. In her quest for raising awareness of marine conservation issues, Sung says “our planet is becoming more and more fragile with destructive forces that assume that the earth, its oceans, and environment are forever able to regenerate and recover from the havoc that humans have wrought. Not so! We cannot rest in our pursuit to preserve the ocean and the creatures that feed, nourish, provide the needed oxygen for humans and other animals to survive, and give us a fascinating and amazing underwater world. It is part of the ecosystem that must be preserved—the ocean cannot continue to be a dumping place for noise, garbage, and waste.”
Sung is also interested in exploring the intersections of technology and music and has been searching for ways to integrate virtual and mixed reality within the live concert experience. Her belief is that someday, symphony concert goers will be bringing their own VR and MR headsets to the concerts to experience a more integrated and vibrant musical experience. Many of her works include aspects of technology and interdisciplinary work and her first two operas incorporated projection mapping and virtual set design.
Sung’s most recent opera, The Secret River also involved a considerable amount of time in preparation ahead of actually writing the music. For the opera, Sung researched the background of the original book (of the same title) by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, materials associated with the book and how it was left unpublished during Rawlings’ lifetime because it featured and African American family. She and librettist Mark Campbell set about adapting the Rawlings story into a new opera. Hailed as “soulful…iridescent… original, locally-themed, socially conscious, and family-oriented short theater piece” by the American Composers Forum, the work has already been called a musical masterpiece.
In her work as director of CREATE which offers outreach programs, after-school programs, a summer Pre-college Animation Intensive, and an online program for teaching essential skills in writing, communication, and other life skills, Sung and her team are dedicated to making sure that UCF’s presence within the downtown community and outside of the main campus are seen as a vital part of lifting the lives of others.
As inhabitants of this planet, we impact the ocean every day but often don’t notice because the changes are hidden just below the surface. The ocean’s story is our story. We depend on a healthy ocean for survival. Our ocean covers 70% of planet Earth. Less explored than outer space, it connects everyone and everything around us. We breathe ocean with every breath we take. Marine plants and phytoplankton produce more than 50% of the oxygen our planet needs. It holds 98% of our water and feeds our world. Our ocean is the great regulator on our planet, driving weather and absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. Trade, culture, science, education, and the arts tie us to our ocean. Our lakes, rivers, and streams are all connected to the sea. Our ocean is underrepresented in education and misrepresented by the media. We are taught land and sea are separate, yet they are not, they are interconnected and so are we. Whatever we do on land affects our ocean.
There is an inextricable link between us and the three biggest man-made threats to our ocean: pollution, climate change, and sustainability. Oceana envisioned by composer Stella Sung shines a light on noise pollution in one of the most heart pumping visceral compositions I’ve visualized with film. When Stella asked me to lend my eyes to the composition and collaborate, I dived deep into the opportunity with a film to compliment the composition. My personal mission in life is to inspire others to take action for our environment. Oceana reveals important truths about the ocean including it's beauty and fragility. We hope Oceana inspires you to raise your voices for our ocean.
– Annie Crawley
Annie Crawley (www.anniecrawley.com) For the past 20 years Annie Crawley has worked around the world with cameras in hand, specializing in documenting life below the surface of our ocean. Born and raised in Chicago, she didn’t explore the ocean until after college. Taking a calculated risk, she sold her car to purchase her first underwater camera systems and never looks back. As an underwater explorer, she continues her mission connecting people to the ocean as a filmmaker, motivational speaker, photographer, writer, and a PADI Master Scuba Diving Instructor. Annie was inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame in 2010, earned a Master of Communications from the University of Washington, and continues to inspire audiences via multi-media presentations. She has created a series of illustrated books and programs to entertain, educate and awe people about life within our ocean. She works in the Greater Seattle area and travels with a dive team of kids and teens documenting their unique experiences. As a master storyteller she runs programs teaching the art of photography, video, and workshops year round. The Our Ocean and You Campaign, www.OurOceanAndYou.com has reached tens of thousands of students and is featured in the book Planet Ocean, Why We All Need A Healthy Ocean published by Lerner Publishing Group. Follow Annie to experience the beauty and wonder of exploring our ocean. Join her team and be the voice for our ocean. Without us, there is none. You can find out more about Annie here www.AnnieCrawley.com and www.AnnieCrawleyPhotography.com
Credits: Underwater Sports Seattle, Manthiri Liveaboard Maldives, Eric Michael,Terry Keffler,Dana Wilson, Raechel Romero, Ha'apai Beach Resort, Steve Woods Photography,Backscatter, Underwater Video & Photography, DUI - Diving Unlimited International, Crystal Blue Resort, Glazer's Camera, Dive Into Your Imagination, Light & Motion Dive Lights, Oceanwide Expeditions, Atlantis Dive Resorts & Liveaboard, Lummi Island Wild, Divers Underground, Quino El Guardian.
Dr. Scott Kraus recently retired from the New England Aquarium as Senior Scientist and VP of Research after a 40 year career. He is on the research faculty at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and has published over 130 scientific papers on marine mammals, bluefin tuna, harbor porpoise, fisheries, and bycatch. Dr. Kraus received his B.A. from College of the Atlantic, his M.S. in Biology from the University of Massachusetts, and a Ph.D. from the University of New Hampshire. Dr. Kraus has worked on the biology and conservation of North Atlantic right whales since 1980, and is co-editor of The Urban Whale, a 2007 Harvard University Press book on right whales in the North Atlantic.
Kraus’ early work included the use of photo-identification of individual animals as a basis for studying the population biology of whales, developing the use of acoustic pingers for reducing porpoise bycatch in gillnets, and assessing of marine mammals from aerial surveys. Recent research has included studies on marine mammals and sea turtles around proposed wind farm sites, developing methods for reducing incidental bycatch of cetaceans in fishing gear, exploring visual capacities of cetaceans, and investigating marine mammal concentrations in the Atlantic Canyons and Seamounts National Marine Monument. His current work involves assessing the cumulative effects of natural and industrial stressors on cetaceans and evaluating ways to reduce the impacts of human activities on marine mammals and the oceans.
Dr. Kate Mansfield is an Associate Professor, Director of the Marine Turtle Research Group, and Davis-Shine Endowed Professor of Conservation Biology at the University of Central Florida (Biology Department). Her research program focuses on sea turtle biology, ecology, behavior, and conservation across all sea turtle life stages—from eggs to adults. Dr. Mansfield’s lab provides field-based educational and research opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students, and scientific advisory service to local, state, and international science and management entities.
Kate received a BA in Biology and Philosophy from Mount Holyoke College, an MA in Marine Affairs and Policy from the University of Miami, and a PhD in Marine Science from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. After completing her Ph.D., she moved to Florida where she held postdoctoral and research scientist positions at the University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Florida International University, and NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Fisheries Science Center as a National Academies NRC postdoctoral fellow. She has worked with sea turtles since 1994 including more than 25 years of nesting beach work as well as in-water sea turtle handling and tagging experience using satellite, radio and acoustic telemetry to track all life stages of sea turtle. Kate's research and field sites include long-term monitoring of nesting beach and coastal juvenile sea turtle habitats in central Florida within one of the most important sea turtle nesting habitats in the western hemisphere, the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. She and her lab also conduct research on the oceanic “lost years” including satellite tracking work in the Gulf of Mexico, North and South Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. Follow her lab on social media: Instagram and Twitter: @UCFTurtleLab
Dr. Linda Walters leads the Coastal and Estuarine Ecology Lab at the University of Central Florida. Her research focuses on the conservation and restoration of coastal species, especially oysters and mangroves, in the imperiled Indian River Lagoon and surrounding waters. Over 64,000 people have volunteered on coastal restoration efforts led by Dr. Walters and numerous partners. Additionally, over 96,000 hardcopies of nine children's story books on marine conservation topics, written by Walters, her students, her family, and colleagues, have been shared free-of-charge throughout central Florida. Recent awards include The Florida Academy Medalist for 2021, Outstanding Educator Award from the Coastal and Estuarine Research Society, and Disney Hero of Conservation Award. Walters received her BS in Biology from Bates College and her MS and PhD in Biology from the University of South Carolina.
Dr. John T. Murray is an Assistant Professor of Games and Interactive Media department at the University of Central Florida, USA. He is co-author of Flash: Building the Interactive Web (MIT Press, 2014) and Adventure Games: Playing the Outsider (Bloomsbury, 2020). His research focuses on interactive narratives and reality media (augmented, virtual and mixed reality). He is interested in the future of immersive authoring tools and applying them to interactive entertainment. Personal website: https://jtm.io
Joslyn Parchman is a graduate student of Digital Media at the University of Central Florida, based in Orlando. Her bachelor’s degree is in Information Technology and Informatics from Rutgers University, where she graduated magna cum laude. Her current studies focus on blending creative and technical concepts to explore computer graphics technology and virtual reality, as well as unique ways of interacting with virtual worlds. Joslyn is also an instructor for multiple undergraduate Digital Media courses, spanning from topics such as web design to digital video production. Her work consists of 3D renders and VR content created using computer graphics software and real-time development platforms and her interests lie in technical art, real-time rendering, computer graphics, and interactive technology. She is inspired by several mediums, including modern computer animation and action-adventure video games, which influence the visual and interactive elements of her work.
Respighi, Fountains of Rome
In this symphonic poem the composer has endeavored to give expression to the sentiments and visions suggested to him by four of Rome’s fountains, contemplated at the hour when their characters are most in harmony with the surrounding landscape, or at which their beauty is most impressive to the observer.
The first part of the poem, inspired by the fountain of Valle Giulia, depicts a pastoral landscape: droves of cattle pass and disappear in the fresh, damp mists of the Roman dawn.
A sudden loud and insistent blast of horns above the trills of the whole orchestra introduces the second part, “The Triton Fountain.” It is like a joyous call, summoning troops of naiads and tritons, who come running up, pursuing each other and mingling in a frenzied dance between the jets of water.
Next there appears a solemn theme borne on the undulations of the orchestra. It is the fountain of Trevi at mid-day. The solemn theme, passing from the woodwind to the brass instruments, assumes a triumphal character. Trumpets peal: Across the radiant surface of the water there passes Neptune’s chariot drawn by seahorses and followed by a train of sirens and tritons. The procession vanishes while faint trumpet blasts resound in the distance.
The fourth part, the Fountain at the Villa Medici, is announced by a sad theme which rises above the subdued warbling. It is the nostalgic hour of sunset. The air is full of the sound of tolling bells, the twittering of birds, the rustling of leaves. Then all dies peacefully into the silence of the night.
Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68, “Pastoral”
For the majority of the twentieth century, and so far in the twenty-first, a classical concert typically features a short orchestral piece, a concerto and a symphony. Programming two symphonies in one concert is atypical, due to the necessary endurance. But on December 22, 1808, Beethoven was less concerned with the musicians’ and listeners’ stamina and more concerned with a successful performance of two new symphonies: his Symphony No. 5 in C minor and Symphony No. 6 in F major, “Pastoral.” (The concert also featured his Fourth Piano Concerto and Choral Fantasy; with such long, heavy repertoire, it did not go well.)
Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony had crystalized several months earlier, in the small town of Heiligenstadt, Vienna (also the site where the composer came to terms with his growing deafness in 1802). The story of artists running to the hills to escape the stress and fast pace of city life, to rejuvenate body and spirit, has become standard to the point of cliché. Cliché because it’s true; for Beethoven it happened in 1802 and again in 1808. His holiday not only helped him finish the symphony but provided descriptive and emotive elements for the work itself. The F major symphony’s style connects to the centuries-old pastoral tradition, characterized by imitation of nature sounds, drones, reed pipes and foregrounding of flutes and oboes in the instrumental texture.
This connection with the pastoral tradition suggests that the “Pastoral” Symphony is an early example of programmatic music. However, Beethoven made a point that this work was “more the expression of feeling than [realistic] painting.” Though he references visual aspects of the country via the movements’ titles, he was less concerned with musically representing the flora and fauna than the emotions they elicited. Such visual flexibility aided its inclusion in American popular culture over a century later: Beethoven’s (edited) Symphony No. 6 was the soundtrack for the Greek mythology segment of Walt Disney’s 1940 film, Fantasia.
The Allegro ma non troppo, or Awakening of cheerful feelings on arriving in the country, is built on a light and jaunty rhythm. The movement is in sonata form, which consists of the following sections: (1) the exposition establishes the primary and secondary themes; (2) the development takes these themes into different harmonic and melodic directions; (3) the recapitulation reintroduces the primary and secondary themes in their original state.
The Andante molto mosso, or Scene by the brook, is tender and elegant; near the end, Beethoven breaks with his anti-programmatic stance by evoking the calls of a nightingale, quail and cuckoo in the flute, oboe and two clarinets, respectively. The Allegro—, or Happy gathering of villagers, is a rambunctious whirlwind of activity; the rhythms, orchestration and articulations combine to evoke a village gathering, replete with conversation, eating and dancing. This quickly concludes via an attacca into the fourth movement, Allegro—, or Lightning, Thunderstorm. Scalar passages and stepwise figures imitate high winds; sudden fortissimos are the flashes of lightening and rumbles of thunder. The texture thins as the storm dissipates and a flute and clarinet herald the finale, Allegretto, or Shepherd’s Song: cheerful and thankful feelings after the storm. The use of forte dynamics, tremolo in the high registers, melodic rumblings in the lower strings, and brief moments of mezzo and piano dynamics in the coda create a resplendent conclusion to a symphony that is direct, engaging and joyful.
UCF SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA ROSTER
*Principal, #Sub/Assistant Principals, +Community Member, @Alumnus
Alexander Heidt, Leader
Annalyn McKee +
María José Sanchez – Guerrero+
Christopher Wojahn @
Pamela Leadbitter +
Dennis Fleitz #