FALL RIVER — The third concert of the Fall River Symphony Orchestra’s 2019-20 season will be held Sunday, March 8. The program, listed as The Blue Concert, will consist of Jennifer Higdon's Blue Cathedral"; J. S. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 and Claude Debussy's "La Mer." The concert will be conducted by Douglas McRay Daniels, who is now in his sixth season as music director of the symphony. He is also director of the Bentley University Chamber Orchestra and an adjunct lecturer at Tufts University.

Blue Cathedral was written by Jennifer Higdon as a response to the death of her younger brother in 1999. She wrote a brief statement about what she had in mind: “Blue — like the sky. Where all possibilities soar. Cathedrals — a place of thought, growth, spiritual expression, serving as a symbolic doorway into and out of this world.... I wanted to create the sensation of contemplation and quiet peace at the beginning, moving towards the feeling of celebration and ecstatic expansion of the soul, all the while singing along with that heavenly music.”

Higdon, who holds a degree in flute as well as a doctorate in composition, has won a Grammy Award as well as a Pulitzer Prize. She is on the composition faculty at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia.

Johann Sebastian Bach presented his six Brandenburg concertos to the Margrave of Brandenburg, Germany, in 1721. They have come to be the most popular orchestral works of the Baroque period, full of magnificent high spirits and virtuosic display. This one features a solo group of two flutes (originally alto recorders) and a violin. The flautists will be Sheryl Cohen, Kim Scott and the violinist will be the Fall River Symphony’s concertmistress, Christina Dickson-Brownell.

"La Mer," or The Sea, by Claude Debussy premiered in 1905. It was written at the Grand Hotel, Eastbourne, on the English Channel coast, which he described to his publisher as "a charming peaceful spot: the sea unfurls itself with utter correctness." With its continual rhythmic and tempo changes and its sudden dynamic explosions it was a difficult piece for the orchestra that premiered it and it was not a hit at the first performance. But it has come to be considered one of the crowning achievements of the symphonic literature. It has three movements, From dawn to noon on the sea, Play of the Waves and Dialogue between the wind and the sea.

The FRSO's Blue Concert will be held Sunday, March 8 at 3 p.m. in the BCC Margaret L. Jackson Performing Arts Center Theater, 777 Elsbree St. Tickets are $15 for adults; children and students admitted free. Tickets will be available at the door, or can be bought online. For further information, check out the website at www.fallriversymphonyorchestra.org or the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FRsymphonyorchestra.

 The fourth and final concert in the orchestra’s subscription series will be held April 26 at BCC and will be entitled "Red, White and Blue." It will include patriotic music by Aaron Copland, Morton Gould and John Phillip Souza. It will also feature a performance by the winner of the Young Artist competition and an appearance by the Colonial Navy of Massachusetts, led by Bill Hart.