The symphonic orchestra students at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point are well known for their musical abilities, which are showcased in performances throughout the school year.
Their first concert is on Oct. 15 in the Noel Fine Arts Center’s Michelsen Hall at 7:30 p.m. with tickets available for purchase at the UWSP Box Office in the Dreyfus University Center.
The symphonic orchestra will perform a variety of classic and contemporary pieces at their first concert.
“We are featuring fellow faculty member Rosalie Gilbert on a harp concerto by Handel,” said symphonic orchestra director, Dr. Patrick Miles. “That work is about 14 minutes long and was written in the Baroque period.”
Miles explained there is a great need for balance between what is traditionally performed and what is exciting, new and challenging for symphonic orchestra student.
For new students, Miles placed importance on teaching them to play Beethoven, as he feels Beethoven provides a foundation for learning throughout the program. Students will perform “Beethoven’s First Symphony” at the concert.
In contrast to this piece, Miles chose a composition written by UWSP composer Aaron Marx. Miles also added Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” to the program. He said the symphonic orchestra picked up on the initial repertoire much faster than he thought they would.
Laura Hamilton, fifth year senior and symphonic orchestra member, places the first concert in high regard.
“In my opinion, any concert that has Beethoven programmed into it is going to be awesome and ‘The Barber’ is going to be a fantastic piece, as well,” Hamilton said. “In ‘The Barber,’ Doctor Miles really stretches time and molds the sound into this gorgeous piece that really toys with your emotions and pulls at your heartstrings. It’s almost as difficult as playing a much larger, major piece of work because it requires personal control and complete communication between the ensemble and the director.”
Hamilton said she has enjoyed her experience playing in the symphonic orchestra throughout her career at UWSP and anticipates a fine performance at the first concert.
“Since our first rehearsal of the semester, we have done a fantastic job reading the music and our sound has been great,” Hamilton said. “Much of the string section is made up of underclassmen and they are all doing a great job getting the music under their fingers and putting their time in the practice rooms.”
Hamilton is excited for audience members to hear the emotion behind the music. She hopes they recognize the hard work students have put into preparing for the first concert.