Solar system comes to life in a unique way at Bicknell Center

  Friday, October 26, 2018 9:00 AM
  Arts & Entertainment, News

Pittsburg, KS

Symphony orchestra

The solar system is coming to life in a unique way at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts this weekend.

Today, the SEK Symphony, along with community partners, performed a short Children's Concert for 800 area school children.

And on Sunday at 4:30 p.m., the symphony will perform an extended version of the concert for the public called "Beyond Our Imagination!" 

For both, the musical score is comprised of movements that call to mind seven of our nine planets from an astrological point of view. They were written by composer Gustav Holst 100 years ago — the same year the SEK Symphony Orchestra was founded at Pittsburg State. 

First comes Mars, the Bringer of War, a movement written in 1914, and last comes Neptune, the Mysic, written in 1915. Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus each get movements, as well — but none for Pluto, because it wasn't discovered until 1930, and none for Earth, because it is the point of reference in the study of astrology.

The symphony is comprised of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community. Collaborating with Munguia and the symphony are Pittsburg High School science teacher Stuart Perez, who will compare the planets from an astronomical versus an astrological point of view, and Angelyn Hobson, director of PSU’s Kelce Planetariumwho will offer her expertise.  

Visual Artist Adrian Wyard, of Seattle, Washington, will inject a multi-media element into the concert via the Bicknell’s newly installed projection screen as the orchestra plays. 

“My goal is to show that the symphony orchestra can be something fun, so they don’t have an assumption that classical music is for sleeping,” Munguia said. 

The concert also will include the world premiere of a piece written by PSU Music Department faculty John Ross, which will feature female voices from the University Choir. Joining the symphony will be visiting musicians from Central America.  

All PSU students, faculty, administrators, and personnel may attend free of charge. Tickets for the public are $9 to $12 and may be purchased at the PSU Ticket Office in the Weede Physical Education Building, or by calling 620-235-4796, or online at They also may be purchased at the door starting one hour before the performance.