Skip to content

"Surprise Symphony" at Holland Symphony Orchestra

"Surprise Symphony" at Holland Symphony Orchestra

Holland, MI – Holland Symphony Orchestra will treat audience members to a “Surprise Symphony” on Saturday, March 9, 2024 at 7:30 p.m. at the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts at Hope College, 221 Columbia Ave, Holland, MI 49423. Tickets are $28 for adults and $5 for students. They are available online at, by phone at 616-796-6780, or at the door.

According to legend, composer Franz Joseph Haydn was getting tired of his audience members falling asleep during his concerts. They often heard these concerts at grand parties, following lavish meals, which made his patrons very sleepy by concert time! Haydn started the slow movement of this symphony very quietly, with a very simple tune. After about a minute he suddenly has the orchestra play one note at their loudest level, along with a loud timpani stroke. After being jolted awake, then the audience is treated to the rest of this delightful movement. Haydn’s humor, combined with the beautiful music of the entire symphony, is why Haydn’s “Surprise Symphony,” also sometimes known as “With the Drum Stroke” appears on almost every list of the “Ten Most Famous Pieces of Classical Music.”

 The “Surprise Symphony,” is the headlining piece for Holland Symphony Orchestra’s upcoming concert on March 9. Three other pieces will round out this delightful concert. We will anticipate warmer temperatures with two short pieces by Frederick Delius, “On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring,” and “Summer Night on the River.” William Grant Still’s “Danzas de Panama” presents a variety of dances and sounds from Latin America in a colorful suite. Goosen’s “Oboe Concerto” a beautiful piece with lyrical Romantic melodies, will feature HSOs principal oboist, Sarah Southard.

Sarah Hustad Southard joined the Hope College Music Department faculty as instructor of oboe in fall 2007. She has taught as temporary instructor of oboe at Central Michigan University and as adjunct professor at the University of Michigan-Flint and Northern Kentucky University. Along with her collegiate teaching, Sarah keeps an active studio of area oboists and has enjoyed working with many youth programs like the Interlochen Center for the Arts All-State Orchestra and All-State Band, the Holland Area Youth Orchestra Chamber Music Program, the Cincinnati Youth Wind Ensemble, and the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras. 

Besides teaching, Sarah is an active performer, playing regularly with the Midland and Holland symphony orchestras. She has also had the pleasure of performing with other groups such as the Lansing Symphony in Lansing, Michigan; the New World Symphony Orchestra in Miami, Florida; the Cincinnati Symphony Opera Orchestra in Cincinnati, Ohio; and the Madison Symphony and Chamber Orchestras in Madison, Wisconsin. As well as her orchestral playing, Sarah has performed in chamber groups at Hope College, the Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck and the Free at Three Concert Series (formerly the Herrick Library series in Holland, which she also took part in) and has soloed nationally and internationally at locations including Italy, England and Scotland.

Sarah received her Doctor of Musical Arts from Michigan State University with oboist Jan Eberle, her Masters of Music at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with Mark Ostoich, and her Bachelor of Music from the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying with Marc Fink.

The concert is sponsored by Ann & John Query. Logo sponsorships include: George & Sibilla Boerigter, Bradford Co., Brooks Family, Butler Pantry, Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck, Corewell Health, Floyd & Caron Farmer, First National Bank of Michigan, Gentex, Haworth Helps, Holland Charter Township, Huisman Flowers, Jonkers Garden, Jim & Sheryl Jurries, Macatawa Area Coordinating Council, Macatawa Bank, MillerKnoll Foundation, National Endowment of the Arts, Louis & Helen Padnos Foundation, Stuart & Barbara Padnos Foundation, Pilates of Holland, Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge, John & Judy Spoelhof, State of Michigan, Patrick Thompson, University of Michigan Health - West, West Michigan Community Bank.

Powered By GrowthZone
The West Coast Chamber often takes photographs & video during our events for use in brochures and on the Web. 
By registering you agree that the Chamber may use any image of you that might appear in photographs or video taken at a Chamber event. 
Scroll To Top