The seats were packed full in the historic Tift Theatre, Sunday afternoon. The University of Georgia Symphony Orchestra performed for ABAC students and staff. As well as, scholarship donators and others around Tifton.
The Orchestra performed three songs. The first was, “Ma Mre l’Oye, cinq pieces enfantines” a French piece by Maurice Ravel which means, “My Mother Goose, Five Pieces for Children.”
The piece was conducted by Assistant Conductor, Jean Gomez. It is very reminiscent of Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.” The way “My Mother Goose” moves through its movements. It begins with a soft fairy tale like sound. The flute and the harp slowly introducing themselves until they are slowly joined by the orchestra. The piece is meant to describe a story of a princess much like Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” based on the original French tale. It all culminates in a peaceful and heartwarming sound described by the composer as, “Building a happy ending, the music drives to a grand fanfare glorifying all that is good and beautiful.
The second piece was conducted by UGA Symphony Conductor, Mark Cedel. The piece entitled, “Symphonic Dances from West Side Story” by Leonard Bernstein is a direct adaptation from the successful 1957 play, West Side Story. Bernstein took heed from fans that his music is put for orchestration. The music had the ability to grow, like a classical symphony. It moved through basic themes into a variety of moods that fit the different ideas of the play.
The piece includes five movements, it begins with a tense scene describing the feud between the Jets and the Sharks. It moves from their peaceful reckoning, a soft and delicate tone. To the gang’s feud being relit depicted as a giant battle of dueling string within the orchestra. The piece ends in a mournful tone as it depicts the death of the main character, Tony dying in his lover, Maria’s arms. The piece included a solo by principal chair cello, Andrew William Reynish to depict Tony’s last few moments.
After a thirty-minute intermission, the orchestra prepared for its final piece. Cedel ended the intermission by thanking all those who came out and taking his place on the stand. The final piece was Symphony No. in C minor, Op. 67 by Ludwig Van Beethoven. This is regarded as the composer’s greatest musical achievement. The piece includes four movements, three of which include “Allegro” which means fast.
The piece requires a tremendous amount of dexterity to perform well and the orchestra is no exception. The piece is thought to describe the composer’s own loss of hearing. The performance of the piece is both amorous and powerful. The orchestra perfectly captured the transitions from minor to major, from darkness to light, from conflict to resolution the piece personifies. The piece even demanded an intense solo performed beautifully by concertmaster and first violin, Fei tong.
The orchestra did a fantastic job with all their pieces. Each one was beautiful and wonderful to hear. The event was part of ABAC’s Performing Art’s Series. Future events include Hispanic Heritage Day Celebration and All That Jazz. For more information on events and how to get a free student ticket contact Band Director Johnny Folsom or Choir Director, Dr. Susan Roe.