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The glory of a massive orchestra with chorus powers an otherworldly prayer and all 7 movements of The Planets.

7:30pm Mansfield Theater

April 29 2023

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Jon Harney joins the Symphonic Choir on Old Buddhist Prayer


Lili Boulanger
Old Buddhist Prayer



This underrated gem by a child prodigy who died at age 24 leaves us wondering... What other magical compositions could she have brought to the world? This work for tenor, chorus, and large orchestra ranges from contemplative and spiritual to ethereal and otherworldly. The text is based on a daily prayer for all living souls to transcend the pain and suffering of this life and gain everlasting peace. In the Impressionist style, it’s noted for innovative textures and harmony.

Gustav Holst
The Planets



This concert marks the first time the Great Falls Symphony will perform all seven movements of this influential masterwork of the early 20th century. The music has been used in a long list of popular television and film projects, and has inspired Frank Zappa, Black Sabbath, Hanz Zimmer, and countless others. 

During a season that premiered with a celebration of John Williams at 90, it is fitting to explore Holst’s astrological themes and the music that heavily influenced the score of Star Wars. Fans of the film can easily hear the similarities between ‘Mars,’ the ominious opening movement, and ‘The Imperial March’ (Darth Vader’s Theme).


It’s not all thundering timpani however. ‘Venus’ is slower and beautifully eerie with melodies played on harps and flutes, shimmering strings, and ethereal solo violin passages. Hear also contrasting styles between ‘Jupiter,’ king of the gods with all his impressive majesty, and ‘Saturn,’ the bringer of old age, at a slower, almost unsettling pace.  Astrologers equate ‘Neptune,’ the mystic, with transcendence and hope. Softly, the choir drifts away, far into the cosmos.

Jon Harney

Jon Harney is an associate professor of voice and choir at Montana State University in Bozeman. As a tenor soloist, he has sung more than twenty-five principal and supporting roles in opera, operetta, and major works with orchestra and chorus. Dr. Harney was chorus master for the Intermountain Opera from 2001-–2015, preparing the choruses for twenty productions. He has been the choral conductor of the Bozeman Symphonic Choir since 2011. 


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Why You Shouldn't Miss It


The Planets is ethereal, mystical and monumental.


Experience the 1916 work that influences today's film composers, including the great John Williams!

Single Tickets
On Sale Monday, November 7

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