If you don’t know Elizabeth City State University’s Dr. Christopher Palestrant, you may not have been listening. This professor of music, and the chair of the Department of Visual and Fine Arts, is also a popular performer and composer and Saturday you can catch him performing a solo with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.
Dr. Palestrant says he will perform the popular Electric Light Orchestra song, “Mr. Blue Sky,” Saturday, Oct. 27, as part of the Virginia Symphony’s “Comic Concert.” The concert features performances by soloists and the symphony orchestra performing theme songs and compositions made popular in comic-related films such as “Guardians of the Galaxy,” or the Batman films.
Details about the concert may be found on their website, https://virginiasymphony.org/comic-concert/
In addition, Saturday afternoon, Oct. 20, he joined conductor Benjamin Rous, Virginia Symphony trombonist Rodney Martel, and composer and WHRO host Chaz Stuart to present a panel on composing character themes in genre films at the Hampton ComicCon.
When he’s not teaching at ECSU, Dr. Palestrant is known as an enthusiastic performer throughout the region. Along with ECSU graduate Adam Nixon, he created the Uphill Blues Band, an award-winning group, popular with music fans throughout the region.
An accomplished composer, Dr. Palestrant’s works and arrangements have been performed from New York City to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C and throughout the United States by ensembles including the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, the Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet and the Albemarle Symphony Orchestra.
He is the recipient of the Third Biennial Michael Hennagin Prize, a prizewinner in the Turner Classic Movies Young Film Composers’ Competition and the Randolph S. Rothschild prize in composition. His music and writings have been selected for presentation for the College Music Society national conferences, the Society for Ethnomusicology and the Intercollegiate Music Association.
Dr. Palestrant’s compositions include the orchestral works “The Wind in His Mane,” “Caligula,” and “Festival Hebridean.” His work also includes numerous chamber pieces, choral music and one-act operas.