Music: Orchestra brings class and classical

Music: Orchestra brings class and classical

Yaamini Venkataraman

Orchestra Debut Concert on Oct. 14 introduces skill and array of talent


{s5_mp3}{/s5_mp3} The String Orchestra performs “St. Paul Suite” by Gustav Holst during the Orchestra Debut Concert on Oct. 14.


Thursday evenings can be stressful, but in one corner of Cupertino, stress turns into anticipation as the audience quietly murmurs. The murmurs crescendo as the first stream of performers slowly walk on stage. As the players tune their instruments, the anticipation gets stronger. Once Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble teacher and conductor John Galli walks on stage, the anticipation quiets. It is time.

The String and Chamber Orchestras held their debut concert Oct. 14 in the auditorium at 7:30 p.m. The hour of music was filled with snippets of classical music, ranging from the Baroque to the contemporary period. The evening’s program featured five soloists, as well as non-string instruments, such as flutes and a harpsichord, in the Chamber Orchestra repertoire.

Sophomore Tiffany Wang, junior Yuri Nakano and sophomore Daniel Baeg perform “Brandengburg Concerto No. 4 in G Major” during the Orchestra Debut Concert on Oct. 14. Photo courtesy of Richard Tsai.The concert began with the String Orchestra performing “Overture to Lucio Silla” by Mozart. Composed when Mozart was just 13, the group of late-teenagers attempted to match his juvenile brilliance. Taking a detour with a more calming melody, the orchestra then performed “On a Hymnsong of Philip Bliss,” arranged by David Holsinger. The piece’s heavy reliance on a strong bass complemented the make-up of this year’s orchestra, which features ten strong double bass players.

The String Orchestra concluded their portion of the concert with “St. Paul Suite” by Gustav Holst. The piece’s Celtic influence was reminiscent of a pirate pillaging song, complete with sections of high tempo and lots of energy. Once off-stage, the String Orchestra members quietly sat in the auditorium, proud of their effort and ready for the next batch of performers to take the stage.

After a lull in energy due to technical difficulties, the Chamber Orchestra was ready to perform. The orchestra started off strong with “Concerto Grosso in G Major Op. 1 No. 6” by George Frideric Handel. The piece featured the addition of a harpsichord, soloists senior Tom Cheng and sophomore Stephen Kim on violins, and junior Joshua Baeg on the cello. Although they had just begun, the orchestra was greeted with a resounding applause for a job well done. After taking the customary bow, the orchestra sat back down, ready to continue.

WATCH FOR: The next String and Chamber Orchestra performances are from Jan. 27-Jan. 29 during the Music Department’s Winter Concert series. Orchestra will have a Spring concert on Apr. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Auditorium.

The Chamber Orchestra’s rendition of the “Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G Major” highlighted soloist sophomore Daniel Baeg’s strengths as a violin player. Daniel played his solo, consisting of a “furious set of notes” as the audience sat with pin-drop silence. Senior Tiffany Wang and junior Yuri Nakano also displayed their proficiency as flutists accompanying the orchestra.

Wrapping up the concert was a performance of “A Downland Suite” by John Ireland. Consisting of a “modern Minuet” and a high-energy prelude, the performance was the perfect finish to a cultured performance. After Galli made some concluding remarks, performers were congratulated by parents, and then they left, relieved. The stress-turned-anticipation was gone from the air—only satisfaction remained.