Young artists and some wonderfully engaging (if a tad unfamiliar) music will be on display at 8 p.m. Saturday evening when the Columbia Orchestra takes the Smith Theatre stage for its annual spring concert.
Appearing with conductor Jason Love will be the winners of the orchestra's Young Artist Competition: Teresa Wang, a clarinetist from Centennial High School, and Richard Zhu, a violinist from Burleigh Manor Middle School.
Teresa will play an arrangement of the "Five Bagatelles" by Gerald Finzi (1901-1956), the British composer whose lushly appointed neo-Romantic scores continue to gain popularity.
Richard, concertmaster of Maryland's Junior All-State Orchestra, will fiddle his way through the flashy, hyperactive third movement of Dmitri Kabalevsky's Violin Concerto.
In addition, 15 young flute composers representing the length and breadth of Howard County will join guest solo flutist Alison Potter for John Corigliano's "Pied Piper Fantasy." Hector Berlioz's "King Lear Overture" rounds out the program.
Corigliano, one of America's finest and most accessible contemporary composers, wrote "Pied Piper Fantasy" for the Irish flutist, James Galway. The work is a delightful tone poem based on the tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, flute player extraordinaire.
"The `Fantasy' is a fun piece," Love says. "It has really great tunes, some avant-garde elements, a lot of humor, and, best of all, a clear story line so the audience can hear everything that's going on."
The score sports some folk elements as well, so fans of the tin whistle flute also are in luck.
In Alison Potter, the local orchestra engages one of the superior flutists of the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area.
On the faculties of American University in Washington and the Peabody Preparatory Institute in Baltimore, she holds degrees from the University of Michigan and the Peabody Conservatory.
As a recitalist and chamber artist, she has appeared at Merkin Concert Hall in Manhattan, at the National Gallery and Library of Congress in Washington, and at Baltimore's Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.
An avid proponent of contemporary music, Potter has given national and local premieres of William Albright's "Rustles of Spring" with the Peabody Trio and saxophonist Gary Louie, and of Michael Daugherty's "I Loved Lucy" with guitarist Risa Carlson, with whom she won the Baltimore Chamber Music Award.
Advance tickets: 410-381-2004, or visit the Music & Arts Center at Chatham Station Shopping Center, the Music & Arts Center in Laurel or the Columbia Association on Wincopin Circle. Credit cards may be used at the Columbia Association. Tickets also may be purchased at the door. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors ages 65 and older and $9 for full-time students. Smith Theatre is on the campus of Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia.