Composer Cristina Spinei, whose “Whirl” will be performed by the Fort Smith Symphony on March 4. Photo by Darling Juliet.

“ ‘One of our challenges in the classical music world is the actual term “classical” itself,’ says John Jeter, music director of the Fort Smith Symphony,” writes Becca Martin-Brown in Sunday’s (2/26) Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette. But “using the description ‘classics concert’ for the symphony’s ‘What a Rush!’ performance March 4 is absolutely appropriate, Jeter says, when the three pieces being performed are classics of the modern era by three ‘terrific’ American composers. ‘Cristina Spinei’s piece is wonderful; the saxophone concerto by Ken Fuchs is absolutely beautiful and very cool—it’s very romantic and lush but then goes full tilt jazz band in the second movement—and Howard Hanson’s Symphony No. 2 was written in 1930 … It’s beautiful.’ Spinei, who lives in Nashville, Tenn., has been a valuable resource for Jeter and the orchestra. ‘Playing music by living composers is absolutely essential,’ Jeter says….‘In the orchestra world, that shouldn’t be an exception.’… Spinei has written for numerous orchestras and chamber ensembles, but she is best known for her work with ballet … Spinei’s ‘Whirl’ was written during ‘a particularly blustery spring,’ she explains…. ‘All of the individual parts can also work as solos or interchangeable duets and trios.’ ”