Orchestra, choir debut their year’s first performance


Katie Whaley

The Performing Arts Center hosted Concert and Chamber Orchestras along with Concert Choir Tuesday, Oct. 18 for the group’s’ first concert of the year. This performance featured harmonious melodies and haunting dissonance alluding to the approaching holiday, Halloween.
The Concert Orchestra opened the show with a peaceful yet minor rendition of “Concert Piece for Strings” by Elliot Del Borgo, which, soon after, the Chamber Orchestra contradicted with a light-hearted tune called “Procession of the Nobles.”
Chamber and Concert Choir then did a duet together of Vivaldi’s powerful chorus “Gloria.” Lastly, Concert Choir wrapped it all up with “Let Everything That Hath Breath,” a soulful gospel that brought the audience to its feet.
This concert was freshman Emily Stelzer’s first high school performance. But as an advanced violinist, she has tons of experience in playing and performing and knows what she needs to do to excel.
“I was more prepared for this concert than any other concert in school,” Stelzer said. “I felt strongly on how I played personally even though I messed up. But as a group, we were a team.”
Orchestra director Alison Schmidt loved the concert and the effort the young musicians put into it, saying that it was a hit.
“I think the concert went great. The students all played so well, the music was exciting, and I think everyone enjoyed performing the pieces. The audience also loved the music. I got compliments from parents of choir students who don’t often get to hear orchestral performances,” Schmidt said. “I am really proud of the obvious effort by the students to prepare a wonderful performance [and] the amount of independence the students showed by not only practicing and performing the music, but also arriving on time, getting changed into concert uniforms, and being where they needed to be. Teaching independence is a large part of orchestra, and I witnessed it in action last night.”
As a festive treat and a tribute to Gene Wilder, Chamber Orchestra played “Transylvanian Lullaby” a song from the classic Halloween movie “Young Frankenstein”. Its eerie chords echoed through the auditorium, creating just the right menacing tone for Halloween.
For Sophomore Anusha Mishra, orchestra is all about playing music that has an emotional quality like “Transylvanian Lullaby”.
“[My favorite song] was from ‘Three Scenes from a Green Valley’. The second movement called The Chapel on Nettle Knob. It’s very slow and it sounds really good,” Mishra said. “It’s one of those pieces that gets you feeling emotional. Certain notes make you feel powerful.”
The orchestra will have three more concerts this year along with five more performances in festivals and contests. Their next performance is on Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. in the PAC.