Orchestra Holds Annual Winter Concert

Audrey Lu, Reporter

Orchestra’s annual Winter Concert was on Dec. 2 at the Westwood Cafetorium.

The Philharmonic Orchestra performed Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saens and Concerto Grosso by Robert Hirsch. Danse Macabre is a programmatic piece, meaning it tells a story.

“In Danse Macabre, the harp plays at the beginning portraying the clock chiming twelve times,” Katherine Hsu ‘18 said. “Death then comes out to play the violin, which is the violin solo, and then all the ghosts and the skeletons party and dance. At the end, it’s like daylight comes again.”

With the difficult repertoire, the Philharmonic Orchestra have been having additional rehearsals after school every Wednesday.

“Some of the parts, especially the violin parts, was really hard for us to play together, but we managed to play it well now because everyone really practiced it and Mrs. Williams went over it a lot in class.” Hsu said. “It really has helped because we have it under our fingers and we learned to listen to each other and play the music as a team.”

The Symphony Orchestra have been having after school rehearsals as well, however, their rehearsals are Tuesday.

“By the time I get home from rehearsal, it’s already dark and it makes me feel like I have less time to do homework which pressures me and I don’t like that,” Melissa Wijono said ‘18. “But I like playing with the band during rehearsals. The band parts in Video Game Live makes it really come to life, as if we’re really listening to it in a movie.”

The Symphony Orchestra performed Suite from Video Games Live, arranged by Ralph Ford, and Romance by Shostakovich.

“The Shostakovich we’re playing has a different feel to it than most of the other songs he composed has,” Wijono said.

The third orchestra, Concert Orchestra, does not have regular after school rehearsals. However, the repertoire is still difficult. The Concert Orchestra played the Idylls of Pegasus by Richard Meyer and What Dreams May Come by Erik Morales. What Dreams May Come consists of two movements, the first of which is called Dream of Light and the second one of which is called Dream of Darkness.

“I think the ending where we go into the triplets was the hardest part of the Idylls of Pegasus, but our hardest piece is Dreams of Light,” Kyla Gaganam ‘18 said.

There are three solos in Concert Orchestra’s song, the Idylls of Pegasus, one of which is played by a cellist.

“The solo I played was the melody in the beginning of song, and it introduces Pegasus,” Kellie Jo Medina ‘19 said. “I’m glad I got the spot, but I don’t think I did as well as I could have. Overall I think I did okay.”

The other two solos in the Idylls of Pegasus is played by the Concertmaster, first chair of the first violins.

“My first solo represents the fall of Pegasus, it’s very smooth and legato and my last solo in Idylls of Pegasus represents the end of Pegasus’ story, and it helps bring the story to a close,” Tanuj Mahendru ‘18 said.

Overall, the orchestra felt the concert went well.

“We had a couple tempo mistakes but overall it was good,” Sarah Anjum ‘18 said.

Although the overall performance went well, there were some mistakes.

“We weren’t playing together during the triplet section in Idylls of Pegasus, it’s an easy rhythm but the speed of the triplets makes it difficult to play perfectly,” Mahendru said.

The next concert will be the Pre-UIL Full Orchestra Concert, which is on Feb. 26.

“Something I would like to improve on for the next concert is intonation and musicality. I feel like I should do that for all my music, but especially so for solos,” Medina said.