Amy Dickson, London-based and Sydney, Australia-born, guest soloed two American pieces of music in last night’s Phoenix Symphony performance. Before the intermission she played a soprano saxophone in Jennifer Higdon’s “Soprano Sax Concerto.” After the intermission the 32-year-old used an alto saxophone to play John Williams’ Escapades from the film Catch Me If You Can.

The evening performance started with the five movements of Spirituals by Morton Gould. “Proclamation” features dramatic religious intensity. “Sermon” tells a lyrical folk tale. “A Little Bit of Sin” is humorous and good natured fun. “Protest” expresses a bitter, grim crying out. “Jubilee” closes with festive and dance-like boogie-woogie.

Our first experience with the new Music Director Tito Muňoz concluded with Aaron Coplan’d Suite from Appalachian Spring. The familiar tune from Simple Gifts was a fitting finish for this evening of contemporary American music.

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