The Signal

Serving the College since 1885

Saturday February 4th

The orchestra wows crowd in fall concert

<p>(Photo courtesy of Bailei Burgess-Simmons)</p>

(Photo courtesy of Bailei Burgess-Simmons)

By Bailei Burgess-Simmons

On Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. guests gathered in the lobby of Ernest E. Mayo Hall for the orchestra’s first concert of the semester.

Inside, a few students lingered on the stage. They were going through their music and practicing for the last time before the big show. 

For some, this was their first concert at the College.

However, even musicians like sophomore violinist and psychology major Maia Leonard, were “very excited.”

For the last several months, the orchestra has put in countless hours of practice and preparation for this. 

“We’ve practiced every week for two hours,” Leonard said.

Every wednesday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., the orchestra rehearsed in Mayo Hall in preparation for the concert. However, for many, the practice did not stop there. 

According to Michelle Delano, mother of Mikayla Delano, a junior music performance major and flutist, her daughter “practices every night,” and “has been playing since 5th grade.”

(Photo courtesy of Bailei Burgess-Simmons)

The orchestra, directed by Uli Speth, performed four specially selected pieces. They opened the show with “Overture to II Signor Bruschino,” composed by Gioacchino Rossini. 

Uli Speth, adjunct instructor of violin, coordinator of strings and director of the orchestra explained why he chose this piece to start.

“Overtures are always something to get the ball rolling, break the ice and get people accustomed to hearing an orchestra play,” Speth said.

The Overture was followed by the work of Beethoven in their performance of Violin Concerto in D major, op. 61. This piece featured a solo violin performance by Navya Sinha, a sophomore biology major. 

The orchestra continued the show with their rendition of España by French composer Emmanuel Chabrier, which garnered new excitement with its introduction of two harps to the orchestra. 

Speth said that this piece was written by the French composer after spending six months with his wife in Spain studying its culture. 

“It is based on the Spanish dance called the Jota,” Speth said. 

The concert concluded with the performance of “Russian Easter Festival Overture, op. 36,” composed by Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov who according to Speth was, “largely inspired by the Russian orthodox church.”

“I think it’s important to connect with the subject matter,” Speth said in regards to why he chose these pieces. “That's what I'm always trying to bring out. It's not just notes and nice harmonies and stuff there's so much more there and I wanted them to experience that in the audience.”

With the conclusion of the final piece, claps and cheers rang out as the orchestra stood and bowed, taking their leave shortly after. 

Orchestra members filed out of the hall to greet their family members. There appeared to be an intense sense of camaraderie amongst themselves as they congratulated each other and exchanged hugs.

“I just love it,” said violist and senior chemistry and secondary education major Nicole Nissel. For her, playing in the orchestra is, “a time to relax” from the stressors of student teaching.

For spectators, the show was just as exciting.

Miles Jean-Louis, a sophomore nursing major, said he had never been to a classical concert before, and he didn’t know what to expect.  

“I really enjoyed it… my first ever concert at TCNJ,” Jean-Louis said. “They surpassed my expectations.”


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