The School of Performing Arts presented The University Orchestra Concert Saturday, Nov. 3, in the Minsky Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m. for an evening of classical music.
The recital hall filled up slowly leading up to the concert, but by the time the first piece played, the room was full of audience members from all walks of life.
The orchestra was made up of musicians of all ages, not just college students from the university. Molly Flanagan, a fourth-year marine science student and cello player, said that “community members are allowed to be part of the orchestra too.”
Flanagan reported that some members travel long distances to attend rehearsals for the orchestra because there are limited orchestras for people to join in Maine. There are even a few high school students who participate with the University Orchestra.
The musicians were sent the music about a week before the fall semester started to ensure plenty of practice time before the concert. Orchestra members meet weekly for an entire ensemble practice on Monday evenings.
According to the School of Performing Arts website, “The University Orchestra rehearses and performs music from prominent orchestral repertoire.”
Musical instruments included in the orchestra are the violin, viola, cello, bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, french horn, trumpet, trombone, alto saxophone and percussion. In this particular concert, the harp was the featured element in all four classical pieces performed during the evening.
The University Orchestra performs a concert at least once per semester and usually has a theme tied into each performance.
The concert started off with Symphony No. 100 in G Major. Dr. Anatole Wieck, a teacher of violin and viola and conductor of the University Orchestra, addressed the audience before the first piece and said that the symphony is often known as the Military Symphony because of its substantial amount of percussion. The piece was written by Franz Joseph Haydn in 1794 and is the eighth of the London Symphonies he wrote.
Wieck, a native of Latvia, studied early on in Riga, Latvia and in Moscow, Russia. He then moved to the United States where he studied at Juilliard School of Music in New York City where he earned his Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees.
After the first symphony ended, Wieck asked each soloist to stand up, then acknowledged each string leader before going on to the next piece, which was not conducted by Wieck himself.
Wieck stepped down and let student and assistant conductor, Stephen Baillargeon take over for Symphony No. 2, a piece he wrote and conducted himself.
Afterward, Wieck took back the conductor’s podium for the third piece called Rosamunde Overture written in 1823 by Franz Schubert.
The last piece was L’Arlesienne Suite No. 2 written by Georges Bizet in 1872. The piece was written for a play called L’Arlesienne, which is translated to mean “the girl from Arles,” a city in the south of France.
Although the concert is over, the practice never ends. Flanagan reported that some members of the orchestra participate in other ensembles including the Oratorio Society and Opera Workshop.