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Sun, May 19


Fine Arts Center, NVCC

Heavenly Journey, Mozart & Mahler! WSO's Final MasterWorks Concert of the Season, Fine Arts Center, NVCC

Mozart & Mahler! Composer Gustav Mahler once said “A Symphony must be like the world. It must contain everything.” With his 4th Symphony, Mahler goes even further – beyond the earth to a heavenly realm where angels dwell.

Heavenly Journey, Mozart & Mahler! WSO's Final MasterWorks Concert of the Season, Fine Arts Center, NVCC
Heavenly Journey, Mozart & Mahler! WSO's Final MasterWorks Concert of the Season, Fine Arts Center, NVCC

Time & Location

May 19, 2024, 3:00 PM – 4:45 PM

Fine Arts Center, NVCC, 750 Chase Pkwy, Waterbury, CT 06708, USA

About the event

WSO final Season MasterWorks 'Heavenly Journey: Mozart and Mahler' – A Transcendent Season Finale on Sunday, May 19"

The Waterbury Symphony Orchestra will cap off its 2023/24 ‘Celebrating Joy’ Season with a transcendent concert aptly entitled ‘Heavenly Journey: Mozart & Mahler’ with not one, but three special performances for the audience on Sunday, May 19th at its home in the Fine Art Center of CT STATE Community College, Naugatuck Valley [CSCC/NV].   

With a Grammy nominated soprano, Laquita Mitchell, joining the WSO for what will be a stunning closing movement in Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 in G Major to look forward to, the WSO’s vision of supporting young emerging and percolating talent will be also be in full display.  The concert will kick off with Mozart’s beloved ‘Marriage of Figaro Overture’ with students from the Taft School Chamber Orchestra performing side-by-side on-stage with the professional WSO musicians. Mozart’s Clarinet Concert in A Major, K.622 will then delight as this year’s Thomas C. Clark Young Artist Competition Winner - Chris Dechant, a 19-year-old heralding from Texas, who has been described as a ‘clarinet prodigy’ studying at Juilliard, will perform with the entire Waterbury Symphony Orchestra throughout the piece.   

“The brand-new collaboration with The Taft School's student Chamber Orchestra has generated quite some excitement,” shared Doug Donato Executive Director, WSO, “To offer these 25 talented student musicians from The Taft School an opportunity to performing alongside the seasoned professionals of the WSO, is partly what we are about as an orchestra.”  The initiative was spearheaded by Lisa Laquidara, a dedicated violinist with the WSO and a teacher at The Taft School, working closely with TJ Thompson, Taft’s Director of Instrumental Music.

Prior to the 3pm concert, at 2 pm, the audience is also welcomed to attend the pre-concert lecture entitled ‘Mozart and Mahler: Two Titans, Perfect Together.’  WSO’s Cultural Ambassador, Dr. Vincent deLuise, an avid Mozart fan who holds insight into the deep and personal histories of classical composers and music, shared: “Mahler adored Mozart’s music, uttering Mozart’s name over and over, as he lay dying.” This 25-minute lecture will explore the commonalities and differences in their musical styles.  Maestro Leif Bjaland says that “Mozart and Mahler are really two sides of the same divinely inspired coin. Mozart's music goes directly to the heart. His music is perfectly balanced, yet utterly human. Like the music of Mozart, there is a sense of childlike wonder in the music of Gustav Mahler, and a delight in the sounds around him.”

About the program, Maestro Leif Bjaland shared, “Gustav Mahler once said “A symphony must be like the world. It must contain everything.” With his 4th Symphony, Mahler goes one better, adding the angles of heaven as well.  Mahler’s heaven is seen from the perspective of an innocent child, so the symphony is filled with bright tinkling sounds, like sleigh bells, piccolos and glockenspiel and concludes with a song for soprano and orchestra, extolling the wonderful food and beautiful music that heaven has to offer.”

The concert was made possible by a generous contribution from Keith and Jane Mahler, the official Concert Sponsors for WSO’s ‘Heavenly Journey’.  Keith and Jane 

Mahler are in their second career as Connectictut’s largest independent concert promoters, and through their work with diverse venues as The Palace Theatre, Powder Ridge in Middlefield, College Street Music Hall, Westville Bowl  in New Haven and the newly refurbish the newly refurbished District Music Hall in Norwalk, the company presents over 300 shows annually.

The full Waterbury Symphony Orchestra will be on stage on Sunday May 19th at 3pm at the Fine Arts Center of CT State Community College, Naugatuck Valley.  

Tickets start at $25, available online via the WSO website at (, or by phone, by calling WSO’s box office partner, The Palace Theater Box Office at (203) 346-2000Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Really pleased that prior to this concert, at 2 pm, we will be joined by our esteemed Cultural Ambassador Dr Vincent de Luise for a pre-concert lecture.  Many of you know, Dr deLuise's knowledge and insight about the music is always fascinating, insightful and brings a wonderful extra depth of being present to the music that follows.   Hope you can join us at the complimentary pre-concert lecture that starts at 2 pm.  


Or, call our Box Office* Mon - Fri, 10 am to 4 pm at 203-346-2000


Sunday, May 19th 3* pm. [*PreConcert Lecture By Dr. Vincent deLuise @ 2pm]

MasterWorks Concert  ‘Heavenly Journey: Mozart & Mahler’ 

Fine Art Center, 

CT State Community College, Naugatuck Valley [Formerly NVCC] 

750 Chase Parkway, Waterbury


   1:30 pm Doors Open 

   2:00 pm Pre-Concert Talk By WSO Cultural Ambassador Dr Vincent deLuise

   3:00 pm Concert 



Mozart: The Marriage of Figaro, Overture   (4’)

   Featuring students from the Taft School Chamber Orchestra

Mozart: Clarinet Concerto in A Major, K. 622  (28’)

   I. Allegro

   II. Adagio

   III. Rondo: Allegro

   Featuring Chris Dechant, Clarinet – Winner of the 2024 WSO Thomas C. Clark Young Artist Competition

Mahler: Symphony No. 4 in G Major  (55’)

   I. Bedächtig, nicht eilen

   II. In gemächlicher Bewegung, ohne Hast

   III. Ruhevoll

   IV. Sehr behaglich

 Featuring Laquita Mitchell, Soprano


Free accessible parking in covered garage

Tickets $25; $10 for students with ID - Call box office

Tickets online, visit: (

Tickets by phone: 203-346-2000*

*Via box office partner 

For more information:

Waterbury Symphony Orchestra 

Telephone: 203-574-4283 

Leif Bjaland, Music Director 

Concert Sponsor: Keith and Jane Mahler 



* Our Box Office Partner is The Palace Theater Box Office.  To visit in person:  100 East Main Street, Waterbury, CT

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