California, USA –The Grossmont Symphony Orchestra (GSO) have been invited to play along with world class Chaldean musicians in the presentation of “Middle East Meets West.” The GSO, under the musical direction of Dr. Randall Tweed, is a seventy-five member orchestral ensemble comprised of music and non-music majors, and talented musicians from the community.
The orchestra, whose musical performance home is El Cajon's own "East County Performing Arts Center" (ECPAC), performs a large variety of concerts from serious classical "arts" performances to lighter "pops" entertainment. Local and nationally reputed performing artists are frequent soloists with the GSO.
The St. Peter Chaldean Catholic Church in El Cajon helped organize the appearance of special guest artist and world class violinisht Luay Yousif. Yousif, born in Baghadad in 1979, has performed with the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. He has lived in the U.S. since 2007.
The performance included selections by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), “Romance No. 2 in F” and “Symphony No. 2” by Aram Khachaturian (1903-1978), a Soviet-Armenian composer.
Among the classical performances The event also included a selection by Raed George, the 2008 winner of the Gold Medal from Alsharqiya Television Channel, one of the main Iraqi TV channels that perform Arabic and Iraqi national entertainment.
The event's highlighted feature was the world premier performance of “Mayra,” a work based on Psalm 114 and composed by Dr. Sarhad Yawsip Hermiz Jammo, Bishop of the St. Peter Chaldean Catholic Church. Vocalist Kerrie Caldwell, soprano, and Stephanie Johnson, mezzo-soprano, sang in Aramaic during the performance.