A string repertoire
TAMU Orchestra hosts first concert of the year
Published: Monday, October 7, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 7, 2013 19:10
As the conductor raises his arms, the sounds of the 67-member string orchestra in unison fill Rudder Theater. Their latest concert, performed Sunday, ranged from songs like “Brandenburg Concerto No. 3” to Percy Grainger’s “Molly on the Shore”.
“In the summer, I start looking at scores,” said conductor Paul Sikes. “I look for what we haven’t played for a while and what we haven’t played at all. I pick the tunes and from there I basically learn it from top to bottom. Then we start to work. My job is to get [the students] to realize what the picture is in my head of what the composer wanted.”
Members of the orchestra practiced two and a half hours per week in class to prepare for the concert, with only two rehearsals per semester outside of class.
“I’m second violin so I don’t have to practice [outside of class] too much but a little readiness for rehearsal is recommended,” said freshmen civil engineering major Nicholas Danney.
Audience members came for multiple reasons, whether to support friends or just for the free music.
“I came because I have several friends in the orchestra,” said junior education major Kayla Giles. “I have been attending their concerts for several year now. I always enjoy hearing them.”
Even past members of the orchestra find themselves back in the theater to listen.
“I was in the Texas A&M orchestra last year as a violin player,” said junior landscape architecture major Ashton Williams. “I also played throughout high school and have a great appreciation for music. I really love hearing it live because there is great energy.”
After the concert, the audience was abuzz for their favorite pieces. Many found “Serenade of Strings” to be the best, which was composed by Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky and is made up of four sections.
“I enjoyed ‘Serenade of Strings,’” said senior sociology major Morgan Paschal. “It sounded full and had many emotions — you could close your eyes and make up an image to go with it.”
Other students were moved by the pace and tempo of the songs.
“I really loved ‘Mother of God’ and ‘Molly on the Shore,’” Williams said. “’Mother of God’ is a really lovely piece that tells a beautiful story, and ‘Molly on the Shore’ is a really upbeat and fast piece.”
The next concert for the orchestra is Nov. 23 at Rudder Theater, which will include the entire orchestra performing selections such as “Hungarian Dance No. 5,” “The Moldau” by Bedrich Smetana and “Finlandia” by Jean Sibelius.
“I really love the atmosphere here and would definitely recommend the full orchestra winter concert. It is a really neat experience,” Williams said.