Acalanes String Orchestra and Symphonic Wind Ensemble Perform in Annual Fall Instrumental Concert

By Sierra Fang-Horvath //

  The melodic sounds of woodwind, stringed, brass and percussion instruments poured out of the Acalanes Performing Arts Center on the evening of Thursday, October 22 at 7 p.m. as the Acalanes String Orchestra and Symphonic Wind Ensemble performed in their first concert of the year. The orchestra performed three pieces, while the wind ensemble performed four, all directed by the maestro Mr. Dea. The performance was the result of weeks of rehearsals that began with the very first week of school.

  “A lot of work went into it, [and] we definitely are dedicated and put in a lot of effort,” sophomore flutist Molly Mudgett said of the wind ensemble’s performance.

  “As a group we have been working hard for this concert,” sophomore violinist Michelle Lo said about the orchestra’s performance.

  The String Orchestra opened the concert by performing “The Concerto Grosso in A Minor (Opus 6, Nr. 4)”  by George Frideric Handel, which is a lengthy piece that involves brief solos by various section leaders, including the head violinist and concertmaster Alex Longerbeam. Lo thought this piece was the most difficult of the ones the orchestra performed at the concert.

  “It’s really hard to count the rests and come in at the right time while playing,” Lo said. “There are just a lot of things that you have to look out for.”

  They then followed with “Folk Tune and Fiddle Dance” by Percy Fletcher, an energetic composition that encompasses sundry styles.

  Their final piece was “Symphony in D Major ‘Veneziana’” by Antonio Salieri and arranged by Ralph Matesky.

  The Symphonic Wind Ensemble, made up of various brass and woodwind instrumentalists, began with “Gavorkna Fanfare” by Jack Stamp, followed by “English Folk Song Suite”, composed of three movements, by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

  Their third piece, “Variations on a Korean Folksong” by John Barnes Chance, was considered the hardest by many ensemble performers, including Mudgett.

  “Not only were the actual notes the most difficult, but it was also the most expressive piece,” Mudgett said.

  The wind ensemble closed with “The Invincible Eagle March” by John Philip Sousa and edited by Keith Brion and Loras Schissel.

  In the end, the concert was deemed a success by the performers.

  “The concert was great,” Mudgett said. “Over all, I think we could have done better but it was a pretty good way to start off the year.”

  Despite the success of the first performance, Lo believes the orchestra and wind ensemble have a ways to progress before performing at their best.

  “We have to always watch Mr. Dea to keep time,” Lo said.

  The orchestra and wind ensemble will soon begin rehearsing for their next performances, which will take place in the winter.

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