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Marshall Symphony Orchestra goes live in concert

The Parthenon

Published: Thursday, April 25, 2013

Updated: Thursday, April 25, 2013 11:04

The Marshall University orchestra performed Wednesday in Smith Recital Hall under the direction of Elizabeth Reed Smith who also teaches violin and viola.

To start off the concert, the orchestra played a selection by Aaron Copland titled “Fanfare for the Common Man.” The piece was dedicated to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing and featured the low brass section.

“We started learning this piece a few weeks ago,” Smith said. “But after everything that happened, it just seemed fitting to dedicate this song to those impacted most by the bombing. It just fit so well because this piece feels very American and is also inspirational.”

Michael Stroeher, the professor for the low brass, was also featured in the concert. Stroeher performed Leopold Mozart’s “Trombone Concert in D Major” on the alto trombone, which is a common instrument for the period the piece was written in.

“This piece really tells a story,” Stroeher said. “The first movement starts off as a love song followed by the second movement which is supposed to portray a dance of sorts. The final movement ends on a high note and is just supposed to be happy.”

For several seniors and graduate students this will be their last performance with the orchestra. Smith said she is sad to see them go, but wishes them the best in their future endeavors.

“I really hate to leave such an awesome band,” Shey Dillon, a senior flute music performance major, said. “But It makes me happy knowing that I get to say goodbye after such a great concert.”

Allison Kessinger is also a senior flute major and said she feels similarly to Dillon.

“It’s scary to think that next year I will be in graduate school,” Kessinger said. “I have just loved every minute I have spent here, and I will truly miss it.”

In the second half of the concert, Smith chose to incorporate a piece that highlighted the percussion section. Andrew Tilley, Evan Grover and Evan White played the piece, and it was performed using one 32-inch bass drum, three bongos and three pairs of China gongs.

“In most orchestra pieces the percussion spend the majority of the song counting rests,” Grover, a sophomore music performance major, said. “But this piece was just us and was so much fun to prepare and perform.”

The performers started work on the piece two weeks ago and the trio had the piece concert ready in four short rehearsals with the help of Ben Miller, a percussion instructor.

The orchestra consists of 45 members. The majority are Marshall students, but there are a few performers from Huntington and surrounding areas.

Josephine Mendez can be contacted at mendez9@marshall.edu.

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