Sunday at Symphony

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By: Ben Winston, Business Manager

On March 16, the Ward Melville High School Honors Symphony Orchestra performed an afternoon concert to showcase its talent and promote music in the Three Village community.

As budget cuts and financial restraints jeopardize many art and musical organizations throughout the state, it is ever more critical to promote district programs. The orchestra invited the community to an afternoon of free and fun music. In particular, youngsters were encouraged to attend.

Following the opening piece, Overture from Mozart’s Le Nozze Di Figaro, the audience members “met the members of the symphony orchestra.” Each individual instrument was showcased for several measures, with selected music ranging form dulcet concerto melodies to unforgettable jazz rhythms. By explaining the intricacies of each instrument and then performing an example, the musicians demonstrated the particular sounds and elements that made their instrument unique among a sea of one hundred sounds.

Nima Mohammadi, a sophomore violist, understands the importance of choosing an instrument based upon the sound. He exclaimed, “I especially think that featuring every instrument was beneficial for the kids since when I chose the viola, the sound seemed so mellow and warming to me. That same connection will hopefully click in the minds of each and every one of those kids.”

The selected pieces varied from renowned jazz pieces to vivacious overtures. The pieces highlighted the skills of the individual musicians as well as the entire orchestra. In George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, exposed clarinet and oboe refrains harmonized with the piano’s melodies. While two famous Russian composers were featured on the program, Glinka and Mussorgsky, it was the works by American composers that closed both halves of the program.  The orchestra played Gershwin and Harrison Li’s piano solo brought the crowd to its feet before intermission. Not to be excluded, orchestration accompanied Danielle Diamond and Alle Wallace in their vocal performance of Poor Wandering One from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Mikado.  John Williams’ “The Cowboys” overture represented modern day composition and Aaron Copland’s “Hoe-Down” from Rodeo concluded the afternoon. The latter piece honored last year’s seniors and showed the community that making music and sharing the communal talents of the Symphony Orchestra should become an annual event.

The Three Village Community enjoyed a wonderful Sunday at Symphony under the talented hands of conductor Philip Gelfer. It was heartening to see the community enjoy culture in their own backyard. If you’d like to hear the music but missed the concert, a CD recording was made and is available for purchase.  Please continue to support the arts by attending concerts, theatrical events, and following artistic exhibitions.

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