This Sunday May 15th at 3:00pm at Lutheran Church of the Cross, the Mennonite Community Orchestra under the direction of Andrea Bell, will be presenting a concert they are calling “Living on the Edge.” The concert will feature music of Mozart, Rossini, and will also feature violin soloist Will Harder, in a performance of the first movement of Paganini’s fiendishly difficult 1st Violin Concerto.

Will Harder is student at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU), and is studying violin with Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Gwen Hoebig. He has just finished his first year at CMU, and is very excited to be performing the first movement to Paganini’s 1st violin concerto with the Mennonite Community Orchestra. “I’m looking forward to the Paganini…I love soloistic playing a lot. That’s sort of what excites me about music…so yeah I am really looking forward to that.”

The Paganini concerto demands a tremendous amount from the soloist. “There’s a lot of interesting techniques that he used, like ricochet bowing and false harmonics, and tenths all over the place which are really the farthest the fingers can stretch,” says harder. There are also plenty of opportunities for the soloist to play on two and three strings all at the same time, with very often multiple voices being heard performed on the solo violin.

The major work on the program is Mozart’s Symphony no 38, known as his Prague Symphony. This is a highly dynamic symphony that makes use of a large wind section. This combination of masterful string writing, and diverse orchestral colors, has made Mozart Symphony no 38 one of his best known and beloved symphonies.

Rounding out the program will be a performance of Rossini’s comical and entertaining “Thieving Magpie” overture. This is a light and exuberant romp of a piece, that will leave audience members with a smile on their face.

The Mennonite Community Orchestra’s Concert is this Sunday May 15th at 3:00pm at Lutheran Church of the Cross. This is a concert not to be missed! Tickets will be available at the door or through the MCO’s website.