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Stockton Symphony music Saturday out of this world

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POSTED March 11, 2015 12:37 a.m.

Get ready for a Symphony in Space.

The Stockton Symphony’s fourth classical program this season takes place Saturday, March 14, at 6 p.m. at the Atherton Auditorium at Delta College.

The program includes Holst’s “The Planets”, music made popular in the film “2001: A Space Odyssey” and an opulent array of music from both the “Star Trek” TV series and the “Star Wars” movies composed by multi-Academy Award winning composer John Williams. Attending the concert — as a participant and commentator — is Jose Hernandez, a former astronaut for NASA. 

Parking is free and plentiful. Single tickets are $25, $34, $43, $53 and $63. Student and children prices range from $17 to $34. 

The Stockton Symphony Box office is located at 4629 Quail Lakes Drive, Stockton , and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 209.951.0196 and online 24/7 at www.StocktonSymphony.org. The Delta College Box Office is open Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m .and two hours before the performance at 209.954.5110. It is located in the Locke Center, directly across from Atherton Auditorium and online at dca.deltacollege.edu . 

The participation of Hernandez in the Symphony in Space performance springs from a conversation between the former astronaut and conductor Peter Jaffe about the concert, the music and the actual experience of flying in space. 

The two men are from vastly different backgrounds — Hernandez is an engineer, a Stockton native who attended University of the Pacific. He was born in America to Mexican parents; he rose to fly in the Space Shuttle against adversity and prejudice as his memoir “Reaching for the Stars” details so well. 

Jaffe was born and raised in Berkeley. As a conductor, he was coached by Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, Gunther Schuller, and Gustav Meier at Tanglewood, and has served as conductor and music director for the Stockton Symphony for the past 20 years. Over the course of the conversation, they learned that Star Trek is a beloved reference point for both men. During the performance of music from that television show, a video from Hernandez’s Space Shuttle flight STS-128 will be on view for the audience and Hernandez will make some brief comments. 

Now in its 88th year, the Stockton Symphony ranks third among California’s professional orchestras in ongoing performance, behind only the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony. 

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