Students Showcase their Talents at Pre-UIL Concert

By Nashitha Azeez, Dreamcatcher Art & Photography Editor

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  • Elliot Kim '21 plays his solo in 'Carnival Overture'. The Symphony Orchestra has been practicing this song since the beginning of the first semester.

  • Anant Malpani '21 plays his solo in 'Pitchfork' from 'American Gothic'. His solo was fast and resembled country style music.

    Photo By Nashitha Azeeez

  • The first violins play 'Allegretto' from 'Symphony no. 7'. This song was a new piece that Symphony learned and didn't play for the Midwest Clinic in December.

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In preparation for their University Interscholastic League (UIL) competition on Tuesday, March 3, orchestra and band students performed their Pre-UIL concert on Thursday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. at the Raymond E. Hartfield Performing Arts Center (PAC). Both Philharmonic orchestras and the Symphony orchestra performed.

The first ensemble to perform was the third block Philharmonic orchestra conducted by Orchestra Director Joshua Thompson and Assistant Band Director Brandon Winters. An exciting start to the concert, the orchestra performed Turkish March composed by Ludwig van Beethoven, a rhythmic, fast-paced, and short melodic piece. Following that, they played Folk Songs of the British Isles, a medium-paced traditional song with a pretty melody that sounded like Irish music. The last song they played was The Great Locomotive Chase composed by Robert W. Smith, which had exciting buildups and parts where train whistles and bells mimicked the bustling energy of a train.

“One of our songs was about trains, and we got to create our own sound effects, which was super interesting and fun. I also liked the diversity of genres within our pieces,” Ayesha Middya ‘20 said.

Following their performance, the second block Philharmonic Orchestra played, conducted by Associate Orchestra Director Justin Anderson and Associate Band Director Brittany Dacy. The first piece they played was Joyride by Michael Markowski, a rhythmic piece consisting of various sounds played from different sections of the orchestra, and parts where the melody of Ode to Joy shines.This piece is a combination of A Short Ride in a Fast Machine by John Adams, and Ode to Joy by Beethoven. After that, they played Prelude to Act V by Carl Reinecke from the opera King Manfred, a slow melodic piece. They ended their performance with Dance Bacchanale from Samson and Delilah composed by Camille Saint-Saens, a fast and exciting piece with a slow section in the middle featuring the string section.

“I really liked Dance Bacchanale because it was a really interesting song, and everyone played it with a lot of energy, and I think it went really well,” Shoumik Roychowdhury ‘22 said.

Finishing the concert, the last group to perform was the Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mr. Thompson and Band Director Thomas Turpin. Two of the three songs this group performed were pieces they had prepared for the Midwest Clinic in Chicago in December. The first song they played, Carnival Overture by Antonin Dvorak, was one of the pieces they played for the Midwest Clinic. This piece mimicked the fun, energy, and excitement of a carnival while also containing more slower and reflective sections, featuring a solo by Elliot Kim ‘21. Afterwards, they performed Allegretto from Symphony no. 7 by Beethoven, a quiet but energetic song. To conclude the concert, the Symphony Orchestra performed Pitchfork from American Gothic composed by Michael Daugherty, another song they had prepared for the Midwest Clinic. There were strange and different sounds throughout the piece, and a solo performed by Anant Malpani ‘21.

“[Carnival Overture] was a piece we played for quite a while. We played it the first semester, and now we’re playing it again this semester,” Kim said. “I think it’s good to see our progress over the long amount of time that we’ve played this piece.”

After lots of hard work put into these pieces, the orchestras will perform for a panel of judges at UIL on Tuesday, March 3.