Assistant Arts Editor
Musicians of different ages and different musical backgrounds joined together as the La Verne Chamber Orchestra showcased a variety of music at the La Verne Chamber Orchestra Spring Concert Saturday in Morgan Auditorium.
Adjunct professor Danielle Rosaria Cummins directed the concert. She also founded the La Verne Chamber Orchestra to provide an opportunity for students to play music together with local community members. The group welcomes musicians of all skill levels.
The concert opened with pianist sophomore music major Caelin Eager playing a dramatic, fast paced piece, “Etude Op. 10, No. 12” by Frédéric Chopin, followed by a softer piece, “Clair de Lune” by Gabriel Fauré.
The third piece performed was “Rhapsody Op. 79, No. 2” by Johannes Brahms, which started with a heavy, dramatic tone, eventually shifting to a cheerful and lively tone. The piece also alternates between a slower pace and an upbeat pace, eventually ending on a similar tone as the beginning. Overall, there were many changes in the mood, pace and emotion of the piece.
“It sounded really dramatic and beautiful at the same time and there were a lot of dynamic shifts,” said Sarah Oishi, freshman business administration major.
Eager performed five solo pieces, followed by two pieces with Cummins.
Eager and Cummins first performed a soothing, peaceful slow-paced piece, “Arioso” by Johann Sebastian Bach. The bow glided along the violin’s strings smoothly while the piano added depth to the performance, bringing the two instruments to a harmony.
The duo followed with “Sonatina for Violin and Piano, Op. 137, No. 3” by Franz Schubert. It is a complex piece, mostly light-hearted and lively, with many shifts and transitions. The violin added a more dramatic mood to accompany the piano.
The La Verne Chamber Orchestra performed after a 10-minute intermission. The group consists of musicians playing violin, violin, cello, flute, trumpet and piano.
The group was led by conductor senior music major Emmanuel Lagumbay who recently joined. This semester was also the first time the group is playing in a symphonic setting after the addition of non-strings instruments.
The orchestra began with two short pieces, “Fanfare Minuet” by Duncombe and “Bluegrass Blastoff” by Monday. They were both upbeat, with the latter being a light-hearted piece with jazz influences.
“Kokiriko Bushi,” a Japanese folk song, was performed after the short pieces. The song was relaxing, with “feeling to the soul,” Lagumbay said. The song was meant for the village god and had a low, deep tone to it.
The orchestra also performed “German Dance” by Joseph Haydn, a short, uplifting piece that precedes “Simple Gifts,” an American Shaker Hymn.
“Simple Gifts” started slowly with the piano, and then gradually increase in speed. The trumpet and flute also started playing slowly, with the other musicians playing together as well, resulting in an optimistic, choir-like atmosphere.
The performance utilized each instrument by starting with one and then adding more, giving the audience a chance to listen carefully to each instrument. The prominent piano playing at the end of the piece brought it to a full circle.
“Simple Gifts” is followed by a smooth and rhythmic piece, “Rigaudon from Water Music” by George Handel.
The concert ended on a high note with Cummins’ self-composed piece, “Symphonic Picture No. 1: New Frontier.” The piece is a conversation going back and forth, she said.
Cummins’ symphonic piece also had a dream-like feel when the instruments harmonize together.
“I think it was well-organized and they played very well,” said Jazmin De Leon, sophomore biology major.
“I liked the last song because I feel like it was something I haven’t heard before, with the violin at one part and then the cello,” she said.
“I loved the concept of having students and community members together and any level of musician is welcomed to play and help each other,” said Deborah Cummins, who was in attendance to support her daughter, Danielle Cummins.
Cody Luk can be reached at email@example.com.