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Orchestra, choir celebrate the spring season

Amanda Nieto
Associate News Editor

The Claremont Concert Orchestra and Claremont Concert Choir came together at Garrison Theater, located on the Scripps College campus, to give a two part performance titled “Spring” and “Coronation.”

The performance began with Symphony No. 1 in B flat Major, Op. 38, “Spring” by Robert Schumann which marks the joyous season of spring, and was followed by Mass in C Major, K. 317, “Coronation” by W.A. Mozart that combines the talent of an orchestra with a choir.

The elegant Garrison Theater welcomed about 90 guests at 3 p.m. on Sunday, holding a mixture of people in attendance.

“I loved that the choir and orchestra played together, it is a rare pleasure to experience and be a part of,” said Anne Harley, soprano and assistant professor of music at Scripps College.

The first part began with about 60 performers in the orchestra all playing a variety of strings, brass and percussion instruments. The choir also consisted of about 60 singers with Harley as lead soprano, Carin Gilfrey as mezzo-soprano, Timothy J. Gonzalez, tenor, and Matthew Anchel, bass.

The first movement of the symphony titled Andante un poco maestoso, began with the horns to invoke the dawn of spring; they were soon joined by violins, cellos, the double bass and timpani drums.

The second movement, Larghetto, began with the gentle caressing of violins as the cellos kept a steady under tone. This was then switched where the sound of the cellos soared through the auditorium, and was accompanied by the delicate melodys of the violins.

As the light sounds of spring danced in the auditorium, the audience calmly sat and basked in the beauty of the music.

The orchestra then began to tease the audience with quiet little bursts of song until they erupted in a fusion of strings, brass and percussion.

After a few minutes of this high rise, the music ended in gentler notes.

The third movement, Scherzo, had a more masculine feel than the past two parts with its deeper and stronger swells, and the more aggressive rhythm.

The orchestra had a sweet dewy precision that encompassed the full season of spring with its fresh sounds and sudden bursts of energy.

At the end of the first half, the performers were greeted with a thunder of applause and whistles of delight.

After a brief intermission, the orchestra filed back on stage and was followed by a choir.

The four front singers had subtly strong voices that descended on the music of the orchestra and was then followed by the penetrating presence of the choir.

At one point during the performance, Harley projected her clear voice with only the support of strings being plucked.

“Singing a solo requires more concentration,” Harley said. “For this performance, I worked on pieces that I will remember for a very long time.”

At the end of the concert Harley, Gilfrey, Gonzalez and Anchel received flowers while the entire orchestra and choir received the audiences’ gratitude.

“The whole thing was beautiful, I loved the choice of music,” Jeni White, mother of a tenor in the choir, said. “The voices worked with the music and did not over power it.”

Jess Ohlson, a freshman environmental studies and anthropology major from Pitzer College, agreed that the combination of choir and orchestra made for an enjoyable concert.

“It was very long and certain parts didn’t stick out, but it was impressive,” Ohlson said.

Amanda Nieto can be reached at amanda.nieto@laverne.edu.

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