On Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015, at 3 p.m. in Memorial Chapel, the Union College and Community Orchestra performed in its fall concert. The concert, presented by Union’s Department of Music, was entitled “Barber, Beethoven and Rossini.”
The orchestra, whch featured both students and community members, was conducted by John K. Cox, director of performance and lecturer in choral and orchestral music.
The program began with Gioacchino Rossini’s “Overture to Il barbiere di Silviglia.” The group performed this familiar piece with just the right amount of drama.
The next piece was Samuel Barber’s “First Essay for Orchestra Op. 12.”
After the mid-program intermission, the orchestra began a lengthy five-part piece by none other than Ludwig van Beethhoven. This piece, approximately 20 minutes in length, is called “Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68.”
The musicians played this enormous piece with incredible vigor, interspersed with airier sections.
Section one of Beethoven’s piece, “Allegro ma non troppo, Awakening of cheerful feelings upon arrival in the countryside,” established the mood for the rest of the piece.
The second section, “Andante molto mosso, Scene by the brook,” was slow and airy.
The musicians conveyed this feeling by floating through the notes with long bow movements on the string instruments.
The third section, “Allegro, Merry gathering of country folk” presented quite a substantial change from the previous movement with its staccato rhythm.
The following movement, “Allegro, Thunder and Storm,” sounded just as one would expect it to. The musicians certainly delivered the sense of brewing tension that the title prepared implies.
The final section, “Allegretto, Shepherd’s song; cheerful and thankful feelings after the storm,” was highly evocative of the pastoral.
This movement served as the convergence of all the themes laid out in the four prevous movements.
The event drew students, faculty, staff and community members.
The orchestra’s concert master and principal violin I was Heather Chan.
The violin I section has 11 members, only two of whom are Union students.
Dana Donati ’16 was the principal of the violin II section. She was one of four students performing in the section, with the rest of the musicians being community members.
The viola section, whose chair is Andy Park, consists of eight musicians. Only two of these musicians are Union students, while the other six are members of the community.
The cello section, led by Brittany Rakoske, has seven musicians, while the bass section, led by Andrew Tysoe ’16, has three players.
Aside from the string sections, the orchestra has flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone and timpani sections.
While these sections are smaller than the string sections. they do not fail to be heard.
For example, Stephen Hoeprich ’16 is the only member of the trombone section, but his part was by no means lost in the fray.
The fall orchestra concert succeeded in delivering a well-performed selection of classical music that brightened up last Sunday afternoon, one of the last Sundays of the term.