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Sage City Symphony Fall Concert

November 12, 2023 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm


Bennington, VT — On Sunday, November 12, at 4:00 p.m., Sage City Symphony will present a Fall Concert sponsored by M&T Bank at Greenwall Auditorium in the VAPA Building at Bennington College. Admission is free and open to all.

The concert program will feature Symphony #5 (“The Reformation”), by Felix Mendelssohn; “Mother Goose Suite,” by Maurice Ravel; Overture to “The Magic Flute,” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; and “Understory,” by Bennington College student Simon Aschenbrenner.

Covid Protocols: All current and evolving guidelines issued by the CDC, the State of Vermont, and Bennington College will be followed. Face masks and social distancing may be required (“pod” seating permitted), and proof of vaccination and ID may be requested at the door. In the event of a resurgence of Covid infection rates, postponement or cancellation of this concert will be posted on the symphony’s website at

About Composer Simon Aschenbrenner and “Understory”

Simon Aschenbrenner is a junior at Bennington College, where he is studying music composition, music theory, and sound design with a focus on the way that music is written for both performance and for various forms of media.

“Understory,” composed in 2023, is centered around a solo violin. The wind and string parts primarily serve as accompaniment to the soloist. While the piece is measured and magical at times, the solo violin explores all ranges and dynamics. As the piece progresses, the pianist becomes more involved and eventually shares a wistful moment with the solo violinist. The piece was titled “Understory” as the music resembles the struggle and the beauty of a forest undergrowth.

About Conductor Michael Finckel

Having served as principal cellist during Sage City Symphony’s early years in the 1970s, and later as a commissioned composer and cello soloist, music director Michael Finckel continues the unique traditions and musical standards of the orchestra’s cofounder, Louis Calabro. 2023 marks Finckel’s 30th year as music director of the orchestra.

A native of Bennington, Vermont, Finckel’s formative studies were with his parents, both prominent musicians well known throughout the state. He later attended Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and Bennington College, where he studied composition, conducting, and orchestration with Louis Calabro and Henry Brant. He has taught cello and composition at Bennington and Marymount Colleges, and at Princeton and Cornell Universities. As a member of the faculty of the Vermont Governor’s Institute on the Arts, he taught gifted junior and senior high school students from around the state. Currently living in New York City, Finckel is engaged in an active multiple career as soloist, chamber musician, composer, teacher, and conductor. As a cellist he has performed with orchestral and chamber ensembles in venues from coast to coast and across Europe. He performs and coaches each summer at the Composers Conference and Chamber Music Center in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and the Chamber Music Conference and Composers Forum of the East at Bennington College.

About Sage City Symphony

Cofounded in 1972 by composer Louis Calabro and Christine Graham as a community and college orchestra with close ties to Bennington College, Sage City symphony gave its first concert in 1973. At the time, it was one of only a handful of orchestras in the country to commission and premiere new works. Today the symphony performs the traditional classical repertoire as well as contemporary music, commissioning and premiering new pieces each season, with the mission of presenting programs that are beyond the usual ambition of community orchestras and that offer a challenging playing opportunity to local musicians. The symphony attracts a high caliber of dedicated amateur and professional players who travel from throughout Vermont, New York, and Massachusetts for weekly rehearsals during the concert season. Auditions are not required, and academic credit is available for Bennington College students who participate. Information about joining the symphony, as well as Covid protocols observed at rehearsals and concerts, is available at

Sage City Symphony is a registered federal non-profit organization in the State of Vermont that relies entirely on generous donations, gifts in kind, grants, and volunteer services from individuals, local foundations, businesses, and sponsors. Donations are gratefully received by mail at Sage City Symphony, PO Box 547, Shaftsbury, VT 05262 or online via Concerts are always free and open to all.


November 12, 2023
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
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Sage City Symphony
View Organizer Website


Creative Zone
Southern Vermont Zone (Bennington and Windham Counties)


Greenwall Auditorium, VAPA Building, Bennington College
One College Drive
Bennington, VT 05201 United States
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