October 21, 2020

Orchestra curates classical compositions

By Chandler Gorda

The Mayo Box Office swarmed with friends and family members of students as they waited to receive tickets to this fall’s TCNJ Orchestra performance. Student performers filed past them, instruments in hand, ready to show the culmination of their hard work on Nov. 14, in Mayo Concert Hall.

The orchestra’s string and woodwind sections play harmoniously. (Jason Proleika / Photo Editor)

Throughout the semester, students have worked through rehearsals to strengthen their abilities in instrumental technique and ensemble-playing skills. The concert served as a platform for students of the TCNJ Orchestra to perform their collaborative efforts and express their musical talents to the audience.

The performance, played by the orchestra’s string quartet, began with “String Quartet No. 8” in C minor and “Opus 110” by Dmitri Shostakovich.

Although the piece featured changes in tempo, the haunting atmosphere remained consistent. The sounds emitting from the instruments were distinct, yet overlapping, and created a pained and suspenseful harmony. The rendition was meticulously executed and deeply expressive.

After the opening piece, the talented members of the orchestra graced the stage with conductor Constantine Kitsopoulos and assistant conductor Uli Speth.

The performance continued with “String Symphony No. 2 in D Major,” composed by Felix Mendelssohn. This piece featured the string section of the orchestra.

Roderick Macioch, a junior journalism and professional writing major, has been a member of the College’s orchestra since his freshman year.

“The music isn’t easy,” Macioch said, “but it is always satisfying to improve individually and hear the group improving as a whole.”

Macioch also noted the challenge of getting accustomed to a new conductor, as the orchestra performance marked its first concert with Kitsopoulos. Macioch felt it was a successful collaboration.

Some students are music majors, while many who are active in the orchestra pursue different fields of study.

Claire Paul, a junior biology major, balances academics and rugby with playing oboe in the orchestra.

“The music program here is really great,” Paul said. “They are very supportive.”

The final piece of the evening was “Symphony No. 89 in F Major,” by composer Joseph Haydn. For this piece the entire orchestra emerged to play, including the woodwind instruments, who had not been featured earlier.

As the composition came to life, the music established a more uplifting and triumphant atmosphere.

The intricate interactions between the string and woodwind instruments made for an impressive finale to end the evening.

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