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Symphony honors American music

Another narrated piece will be the world premiere of Childs' "Down-Adown-Derry: A Fairy Suite for Orchestra and Narrator," which was inspired by early 20th century children's book illustrations by Albany native Dorothy Lathrop (and exhibited at the Albany Institute of History and Art).

"Peter was very touched by these drawings because they reminded him of the books he'd read as a child," said Miller. "He created this really charming set of miniature pieces for orchestra inspired by the poems that went along with the illustrations."

Also on the program is Tsontakis' "Violin Concerto No. 1" featuring violinist Cho Liang Lin. Both Tsontakis and Lin hail from the Hudson Valley. The symphony will perform at 8 pm at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. Tickets are $21-42 (273-0038, www.troymusichall.org).

The following week, Miller and the symphony's new music ensemble, called Dogs of Desire, will be cramming to learn seven new pieces by young and emerging composers to get ready for a Friday, March 30 performance.

"The pieces have just begun coming in, so they're all brand-new, out-of-the-box," said Miller. "It's seven really great composers writing really original and unusual pieces."

Ken Eberhardt, who writes music for daytime TV, created a piece about karaoke and RPI professor Neil Rolnick wrote a piece that involves video.

The Dogs of Desire includes 16 members of the orchestra and two local female vocalists.

"The Dogs' concerts are a lot of fun, with wildly alternative music experiences," said Miller, who conducts the group.

The Dogs of Desire concert will be at 8 p.m. at the WMHT Television Studio in East Greenbush. Tickets are $25 and available from the Palace Theatre (465-4663, www.palacealbany.com) or Ticketmaster (476-1000, www.ticketmaster.com). ""

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