On Oct. 10, to commemorate what would be the 200th Birthday of Giuseppe Verdi--the renowned opera composer, South Kingstown High School Director of Instrumental Music, Don Smith and students arranged a performance of his most popular aria, "Anvil Chorus" during an orchestra rehearsal.
Smith invited several local singers to accompany the SKHS musicians during the opera portion of the performance. The celebration also included an Italian rendition of "Happy Birthday" and a large birthday cake adorned with Verdi's photo.
Giuseppe Verdi was among the few composers who was beloved during his time on Earth. He was born on Oct. 10, 1813 in Le Roncole, an Italian village later renamed "Roncole Verdi" in his honor, and died Jan. 27, 1901 in Milan. Completing 25 operas throughout his career, Verdi continues to be regarded today as one of the greatest composers in history and his works have reportedly been performed more than any other performer's worldwide.
"It was great to be able to share this day and stories of a great composer with my students while learning one of his most popular pieces," said Smith of Thursday's celebration. "In fact, if there was a top ten list in his day, Anvil Chorus definitely would have topped the charts for many many weeks!"
Student musicians from South Kingstown High School's award-winning Orchestra, Chorus and Symphonic Band will perform a public concert at 7 p.m. on Nov. 6 in the SKHS auditorium. Smith explained that the performance will loosely follow a patriotic theme due to its proximity to Veteran's Day on Nov. 11. Members of the Symphonic Band will perform "Ask Not", a new arrangement commemorating the death of President John F. Kennedy nearly 50 years ago on Nov. 22, 1963.
Admission to the concert will be free with donations accepted at the door.