By Amanda Hatfield Anderson
MELBOURNE -- The late, great John F. Kennedy once said, "We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills; because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone and one we intend to win."
While it has been more than 50 years since the start of the Space Program here in Brevard County, its history is deeply engrained within the community.
On Saturday, Jan. 25, the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra, in cooperation with NASA and Jet Propulsion Laboratories, will host "The Planets -- An HD Odyssey" at 7 p.m. at the Scott Center for the Performing Arts at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy.
Gustav Holst's world-renowned composition is paired with stunning, high-definition film from NASA's latest exploration of the solar system, which is sure to be a treat for concert-goers young and old.
"'The Planets' is one of those iconic works that has been on our wish list for quite some time," said Aaron Collins, artistic director. "It is an immensely popular work that any audience member can immediately connect with."
When Mr. Collins saw "The Planets" performed by the Houston Symphony Orchestra, he fell in love with the combination of media.
"What better place to present this program than the Space Coast," he said. "So many lives in Central Florida have been affected by our Space Program. So, we put out a call to our community to send us personal photos that highlight the program."
Mr. Collins said the photos the SCSO received have been organized and set to Saturday's concert's opening work "Festive Overture" by Dmitri Shostakovich, which he said will be a very moving experience for all.
Following "Festive Overture," the audience will be in for a real treat, as SCSO Principal Cellist Paul Fleury will give the world premiere of his work, "Cello Fantasy."
"Paul Fleury is one of the Southeast's most in-demand cellists," Mr. Collins said. "He is at home in both commercial projects and in a concert setting."
With more than 30 album credits to his name, Mr. Fleury has performed with Rod Stewart, Led Zepplin, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and lent his talents to Broadway productions, as well.
"Paul expressed interest in writing a short work for cello and orchestra," Mr. Collins said. "I encouraged him to do so, and we will be presenting the world premiere of his work."
Following "Cello Fantasy," the SCSO will perform "The Planets."
"On a giant screen over the stage, you'll see the latest stunning images from the Mars Rovers and past probe missions of Magellan, Voyager and Galileo," Mr. Collins said. "The footage has been carefully selected to harmonize with the music."
The incredible footage has been combined with Holst's "The Planets," which is one of the most well-known pieces in all of classical music.
"It's the melodic, precise and structured, combined with the mystic and unexplainable," Mr. Collins said. "The creativity used to write such a unique, one-of-a-kind piece is immeasurable. It's a grown-up 'Fantasia' that will drop some jaws."
Thrilled to present "The Planets -- An HD Odyssey" to its patrons, the SCSO is looking forward to the program meant to highlight the Space Coast community.
"It's absolute, pure excitement," Mr. Collins said. "Both young and old will really connect with this incredible experience."
The Space Coast Symphony Orchestra, in cooperation with NASA and Jet Propulsion Laboratories, will host "The Planets -- An HD Odyssey" on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. at the Scott Center for the Performing Arts at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy.
Advanced tickets, $20, are available at www.SpaceCoastSymphony.org or at several convenient ticket outlets, including Ace Hardware stores in Indialantic, Cocoa Beach and Satellite Beach, Blue Sky Insurance in Cocoa Village, Tropical Realty of Suntree, Art Expressions in downtown Eau Gallie, A Floral Affair on Merritt Island and Palm Bay Hearing Aid Center.
Tickets at the door are $25.
Children and students 18 and younger are free.
The Scott Center for the Performing Arts is located at 5625 Holy Trinity Dr., Melbourne.
For more information, call toll-free to (855) 252-7276.