South Whidbey High School alumna’s piece featured in orchestra performance

The Saratoga Orchestra of Whidbey Island is diving into its third concert of the Season of Discovery this Sunday.

The concert features the last finalist conductor, Anna Edwards, with “Simply Delicious.” The program includes music from Maurice Ravel, Francis Poulenc, Samuel Barber, soprano soloist Catherine Haight, and Seattle composer and 2004 graduate of South Whidbey High School, Angelique Poteat.

Poteat grew up on the island and performed with the orchestra during the 2008-09 season, and has returned off and on over the last two years.

Poteat said she was thrilled to have her work, “Spring Grove,” featured in the program.

“It’s exciting being able to share my music and experiences since graduating,” she said. “I am very much looking forward to the program this weekend.”

The piece was inspired by a cemetery in Cincinnati, where she was studying at the time. The cemetery was unlike anything she had experienced, with an arboretum, mausoleums and a pond. She often would spend her days writing in the park-like setting.

In the piece she presents the “timeless serenity of a peaceful resting place and also having outbursts of energy,” she said.

Poteat continues to work on her writing with inspiration from Pearl Jam and Nirvana. She said she enjoys the challenge of combining the rhythms with classical music.

“It will be a lot of fun see what kind of rhythms and textures I can create with this, which will hopefully inspire a large variety of audience,” she said.

Poteat will be performing with the Saratoga Orchestra this weekend. Next January, she will also be performing with the Seattle Symphony.

The third composer finalist, Edwards has worked in the music community for 20 years and is founder and music director of the Seattle Collaborative Orchestra. She has worked and played with groups including the Seattle Youth Symphony, Auburn Symphony, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Northwest Chamber Orchestra and the Northwest Sinfonietta.

The program begins at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 9 at South Whidbey High School, 5675 Maxwelton Road, Langley.