A Review: Chamber orchestra celebrates

By Alex Riess

Transcript Correspondent

What was originally an hour-long piece written for a ballet in 1910, was transformed into an orchestral symphony at the Gray Chapel.

About 150 people gathered at the chapel on Nov. 12, where The OWU Chamber Orchestra presented “The Lark and the Firebird.” The event celebrated the 100thanniversary of the song, “Firebird Suite.”

The orchestra performed 19th century and early 20th century compositions. “Dawn on the Moscow River” and “Petite suite de concert, Op. 77” were played first, followed by an intermission. The next two pieces are the reasons behind the title of this event.

Antoine T. Clark, the conductor of the orchestra, said, “The suite was my favorite piece of the night.”

The “Firebird Suite” was broken into three separate movements: The Princesses’ Round Dance, Berceuse, and Finale. Each had its unique tone.

The Princesses’ Round Dance sounded very soft and relaxing. With the brass and wind instruments flowing off each other, they created a sense of calmness. The movement sounded like its name.

The Berceuse was played in a lot of minor tones, creating a tense feeling. The strings and brass bounced off each other with a sense of uncertainty.

The piece then led into the Finale. A deep, major tone was created, with all the instruments colliding together. This collision built up and then ended on a drawn-out note, creating a sense of fulfillment.

The OWU Department of Music program stated that the piece was originally created as a 50-minute ballet in 1910 by Igor Stravinsky. Stravinsky later created three shorter suites arranged for concert performance. The student orchestra played the most performed version of the suites.

The “Lark Ascending” was the other piece.

Nancy Gamso, a university professor of music, described as a “most gorgeous, lush piece. And so unusual.”

The music program stated the song was steeped in the English tradition and converted from English folk song into an orchestral piece. The piece premiered in 1921.

Alicia Hui, a violinist for the Columbus Symphony, was featured in the performance.

Hui performed small solos throughout, reflecting on the orchestra’s melodies. Playing extremely high notes in a unique style, the violinist created a sense of tribalism.

Gamso said, “There were trills from the violin, like birds do.”

Chamber Choir fills Gray Chapel with song and applause

By: Beth Ward, Transcript Correspondent

The voices of 60 Ohio Wesleyan students filled the chambers of Gray Chapel as the Choral Art Society and Chamber Choir performed their winter concert.

The Choral Art Society and the Chamber Choir performed on Sunday Dec. 6 from 3:15­ to 4:30 p.m. The choir is made up of OWU students ranging from freshmen to graduating seniors.

The concert was the first performance of the choir for the 2016 school year. They will be performing again in Gray Chapel in the coming spring.

The Choral Art Society is conducted by Christopher Dent and the Chamber Choir is conducted by Jason Hiester. Each choir is made up of four groups, the bass, the tenor, the sopranos and the altos.

The Choral Art Society is an open choir for anyone who wants to join while the Chamber Choir is an audition only choir. About 15 students make up the Chamber Choir for the 2016 school year.

Each choir performed a series of songs on Sunday. The Choral Art Society sang eight songs with a small break between every two in which conductor Dent explained what the next two songs were about.

The Choral Art Society ended their part of the concert at 3:45 p.m. Leading into a 15 minute intermission before the Chamber Choir took the stage.

The Chamber Choir performed five songs from Edward Elgar, a famous composer between the years of 1857 an ­1934. He composed “The Spirt of the Lord is upon me (The Apostles, Op.48),” which the choir opened with.

Elgar’s Apostle was accompanied by the organ that was played by Joshua Brodbeck. “The organ gave an interesting tone to the song. It sounded beautiful, but left me with a slight weary feeling in my stomach,” said Melissa Smith, former OWU student class of 2014.

Heister led the Chamber Choir through four more songs ending the concert with “The Dance.”

“The Dance was a more lively song compared to the first. It had a very upbeat rhythm and left the audience on a happy note, it was an excellent way to end the concert,” said Grace Ford, senior from Hayes High School.

Jazz fills Gray Chapel

By: Katie Kuckelheim, Transcript Correspondent

jazzOhio Wesleyan’s Park Avenue jazz ensemble performed Tuesday, Nov. 17 in Gray Chapel and was directed by faculty member Larry Griffin. They played a large variety of jazz pieces, from smooth to classic uplifting pieces.

According to freshman Espen Stalder, a trumpet player in the ensemble, the jazz band rehearsed twice a week for an hour and a half to prepare for the performance.

Freshman Emily Sutliff, a trombone player, said, “We worked really hard on these pieces and I think it’s great that we all came together as a band even though this was really difficult music.

We did our best and everyone had a great time.”

After intermission, Griffin introduced Rachel Ballitch, a vocalist, to the stage who sang six songs with the band including “Over the Rainbow” by Harold Allen.

When asked about how jazz differs from other types of music, sophomore tenor saxophone player Zachary Worley said, “You can express yourself more. You can do a lot more with jazz than classical … You can do what you want, what you feel.”

Music education major and audience member Mary Wadell added, “I think the best part of it is that so much of what we hear is actually improvised … they can do anything they want, express how they feel. And I think that’s brought out most in their ability to improvise in jazz, which is really unique to the style.”

This ensemble will not perform again for another year.

“There’s usually two [jazz band concerts]. But Dr. Griffin is going to be on sabbatical…” said senior Logan Baker, a trumpet player in the ensemble.

Griffin added, “The band rehearses twice a week. However, next semester when I’m on sabbatical, we’re not scheduled to have a band. There is an individual that would like to rehearse the band once per week. However, I have not finalized my plans for the semester at this point.”

President Rock Jones said, “I thought they were terrific. There was great energy. Lots of new faces in the band this year and they did really well.”

The music department puts on many performances every year, the next being Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 8 p.m. at Jemison auditorium in Sanborn Hall. Admission is free.