Carolyn Watson led the University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra in a “Climate Change Awareness” concert.

In Sunday’s (5/12) News-Gazette (Champaign, Illinois), John Frayne writes, “The subject was climate change and the focus was on the seas at the April 11 concert by the University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Carolyn Watson … at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts…. The musical works were preceded by the reading of poems matching the subject of the music. The concert began with the Overture to the 1906 opera, ‘The Wreckers,’ by Ethyl Smythe…. The student orchestra, urged on by Watson’s lively direction, gave a hearty reading to Smythe’s work. This was followed by Calandra Ebonee Noelle’s reading of Langston Hughes’ haiku-esque poem ‘Sea Calm’ … This poem introduced Benjamin’s Britten’s famous Four Sea Interludes … The next work, Iman Habibi’s 2020 ‘Jeder Baum spricht’ (‘Every tree speaks’), was preceded by Mariana Seda’s forceful reading of Colleen J. McElroy’s … ‘The Lost Breath of Trees,’ about the struggle between the natural growth of trees in competition with urban, concrete sprawl…. The second half of the program was preceded by a short talk on the effect of climate change on the sea levels of the world’s oceans by Don J. Wuebbles, emeritus professor in the School of Earth, Society and Environment.” Also on the program was Debussy’s “La Mer.”