Published on April 15th, 2024


Contact: Jennifer Cargile, (253) 272-7264


Symphony Tacoma presents
Dreams & Dances
Saturday, April 20th – 7:30pm
Pantages Theater

Sarah Ioannides, conductor
Leelanee Sterrett, horn
Dawn Padula, mezzo-soprano



Tacoma, WA — April 12, 2024 – Symphony Tacoma invites audiences to Dreams and Dances (April 20, 2024), a musical odyssey highlighting an eclectic fusion of classical masterpieces and contemporary gems. This lively evening promises to be an unforgettable journey of symphonic exploration when the brilliant horn virtuoso Leelanee Sterrett takes center stage for Strauss’ Concerto No. 1 and renowned local mezzo-soprano Dawn Padula delivers a mesmerizing performance in De Falla’s evocative Suite from El Amor Brujo. Adding to the allure of the evening is the world premiere of local composer, Gina Gillie’s Reverie, a composition brimming with innovation and intrigue. And rounding out the program, promising to ignite the senses and leave hearts racing with excitement are Kodály’s enchanting Dances of Galánta and the infectious rhythms of Arturo Márquez’s Danzón No. 2.


Headlining this exceptional evening is Leelanee Sterrett, one of today’s foremost horn players, who brings a blend of passion, precision, and innovation to the world of classical music. As a member of the illustrious New York Philharmonic, Sterrett’s artistry illuminates concert halls around the globe, enchanting audiences with her lyrical expressiveness. With a career spanning diverse musical genres and collaborations with esteemed conductors and ensembles, Sterrett’s dynamic performances consistently garner acclaim from critics and audiences alike. Beyond her exceptional musicianship, Sterrett is well-known for her dedication to education and outreach, inspiring young musicians through masterclasses, workshops, and community engagement initiatives. With each note she plays, Sterrett redefines the boundaries of horn performance, leaving an indelible mark on the world of classical music.


Sterrett joins Symphony Tacoma for Richard Strauss’s Concerto No. 1 for Horn and Orchestra, a pinnacle of the horn repertoire that beautifully showcases the instrument’s lyrical beauty and technical prowess. Composed in 1883 when Strauss was just 19 years old, his concerto exhibits a remarkable maturity and depth of musical expression. With its soaring melodies, lush harmonies, and virtuosic passages, Strauss challenges the soloist to navigate a diverse landscape of musical colors and emotions. From the tender lyricism of the opening movement to the exuberant energy of the finale, Strauss demonstrates his keen understanding of the horn’s capabilities, crafting a work that continues to fascinate audiences and inspire horn players worldwide, remaining a timeless testament to the enduring beauty and versatility of the horn.


A supporter new works and adding the voice of our time to the orchestral repertoire, Symphony Tacoma is honored to present the world premiere of local composer Gina Gillie’s Reverie, which is sure to emerge as a poignant addition to the contemporary orchestral repertoire. Gillie, former horn player with Symphony Tacoma and professor of music at Pacific Lutheran University, is a prolific composer known for her evocative works and compositions that resonate with emotional depth and artistic vision. With a distinctive voice and a passion for storytelling through sound, Gillie continues to captivate audiences with her innovative compositions.


Gillie’s new composition promises to enchant audiences with its evocative melodies and rich harmonies. Drawing inspiration from the ethereal realm of dreams and imagination, Reverie unfolds like a musical tapestry, weaving together moments of tranquility and introspection with bursts of emotional intensity. Through its lush orchestration and nuanced phrasing, Gillie’s work invites listeners on a journey of introspection and contemplation, evoking a sense of wonder and curiosity that lingers long after the final note fades away. As Gillie’s Reverie takes flight in its debut performance, audiences can anticipate being transported to a realm where beauty and emotion intertwine, offering a captivating glimpse into the boundless creativity of contemporary orchestral music.


Opening the evening is Manuel de Falla’s Suite from “El Amor Brujo,” a captivating musical expedition infused with the fiery spirit of Spanish folklore and flamenco rhythms. Originally composed as a ballet in 1915, this Suite distills the original work’s essence into a vibrant orchestral showcase. De Falla conjures a world of passion, longing, and mysticism through evocative melodies, sultry harmonies, and rhythmic ostinatos. The Suite’s poignant themes, inspired by the tale of a haunted gypsy bride, transport listeners to the heart of Andalusia’s rich cultural tapestry. With its intoxicating blend of Spanish folk melodies and modernist sensibilities, de Falla’s Suite remains a beloved masterpiece that continues to enchant audiences with its timeless allure. Taking center stage in this piece is University of Puget Sound music professor and acclaimed mezzo-soprano Dawn Padula, who possesses a voice of unparalleled richness and depth, charming audiences with her dynamic performances.


From Spanish folklore to the streets of Mexico, the evening includes Arturo Márquez’s popular Danzón No. 2, a spellbinding orchestral work that pays homage to the vibrant dance culture of Mexico. Danzón takes listeners on a rhythmic journey infused with the sultry allure of the danzón, a popular Cuban dance form that found its way to Mexico in the late 19th century. Márquez’s composition brims with infectious melodies, syncopated rhythms, and lush harmonies, creating a mesmerizing tapestry of sound that exudes both elegance and passion. From the sultry opening strains to the exhilarating crescendo of the finale, Danzón No. 2 transports audiences to a world of swirling skirts, swaying hips, and rhythmic pulsations, capturing the essence of Mexican dance culture with irresistible charm and vitality.


Continuing the international journey is Zoltán Kodály’s Dances of Galánta, as it transports listeners to the vibrant streets of Galánta, a Hungarian town steeped in folk traditions and musical heritage. Composed in 1933 as a tribute to his hometown, this exhilarating orchestral suite brims with infectious rhythms, lush melodies, and colorful orchestration. Drawing inspiration from Hungarian folk music, Kodály weaves together a tapestry of lively dances, evoking the joyous festivities and spirited celebrations of his youth. From the exuberant whirlwind of the opening clarinet solo to the triumphant climax of the final dance, Dances showcases Kodály’s masterful fusion of folk idioms and symphonic grandeur, leaving audiences spellbound with its infectious energy and unmistakable Hungarian flair.




With rhythms and melodies originating from Tacoma to Spain, Symphony Tacoma invites music enthusiasts of all ages to an unparalleled evening of artistry and musical enchantment at Dreams and Dances on April 20th in the Pantages Theatre. ​Tickets available at the Symphony Tacoma Box Office, symphonytacoma.org, or 253-272-7264. Prices range from $24 to $89.

Symphony Tacoma’s 2023-2024 season is sponsored by Tacoma Creates. Dreams & Dances is sponsored by Harbor Plastic Surgery Center, Heritage Bank, and Second City Chamber Series.

Building community through music. Symphony Tacoma is a dynamic professional orchestra composed of local musicians dedicated to making great music accessible to all. Led by Music Director Sarah Ioannides, the orchestra is committed to engaging, educating, and inspiring the community through transformative musical experiences. www.symphonytacoma.org




DE FALLA | Suite from El Amor Brujo
STRAUSS | Concerto No. 1
GINA GILLIE | Reverie (world premiere)
KODÁLY | Dances of Galánta


  • Interviews with Symphony Tacoma Music Director, Sarah Ioannides and attendance at a rehearsal are available upon request.
  • Contact Symphony Tacoma Marketing Manager, Jennifer Cargile at Marketing@SymphonyTacoma.org, or 907-227-1401 to make arrangements.