Orchestra Delivers Shining Fall Concert Performance Following 18 Month Hiatus

By Riya Patil, Reporter

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  • First violinists Philip Wong ’22 and Alex Kim ’23 perform the ‘Adagietto’ from Gustav Mahler’s Symphony no. 5. With expressive, arcing melodies, themes of expressive melancholy soared through the auditorium.

  • Speaking to a full audience, Orchestra President Anna Beatty ’22 gives opening remarks to welcome community members to the concert. Focused on rebuilding program connections this year, Beatty leads a team of officers from across all five orchestras to organize socials and events for the student body.

  • Rising to face the audience, students of the 4th Block Philharmonic Orchestra receive applause from the audience following their performance. Assistant Director Mr. Justin Anderson conducted the group’s two selections.

  • Glancing upwards for the guidance of Director Mr. Joshua Thompson’s baton, 2nd Block Philharmonic Orchestra students prepare to finish their piece. The orchestra performed Bach’s ‘Brandenburg Concerto No. 4’ and Holst’s ‘March from A Moorside Suite.’

  • Attentive to his music, concertmaster Owen Plug ’24 of the Camerata Orchestra leads his section. Camerata Orchestra performed ‘Falconer’ by Doug Spata and ‘Contredanse’ by Larry Clark.

  • Cellists Eric Lin ’22 and Dhruv Pathak ’23 return their bows to the frog, preparing to project their sound across the stage. The 4th Block Philharmonic Orchestra performed ‘Dolce and Allegro from Concerto Polonois’ by Telemann and ‘Quatros Momentos No. 3’ by Aguiar.

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On the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 6th, all five Westwood Orchestras performed for their fall concert, starting from 7:00 PM at the Raymond Hartfield Performing Arts Center (PAC). As it was the first formal performance in 18 months since the 2019-2020 school year, excitement was high among the orchestras to finally play music for an audience. 

Students had been preparing for the performance since the beginning of the school year with regular rehearsals and sectionals after school. 

“Preparation for this concert in many ways has been the most challenging that we’ve had since I’ve been at Westwood,”  Orchestra Director Mr. Joshua Thompson said.  “After a year of playing in front of computer screens, it was definitely a challenge to teach the students how to listen to each other, and how to play with each other.”  

Students performed a variety of music, from classical favorites such as the Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 4, the Mozart Divertimento in D Major, and the Sibelius Suite Caracteristique, as well as newer works by contemporary composers. These included the Contredanse by Larry Clark, performed by the Camerata Orchestra and Quatro Momentos No. 3 by Ernani Aguiar, performed by the Philharmonic 4th Block Orchestra. 

“Out of the pieces [the Camerata orchestra] played, My favorite is definitely the Contredanse, because it is the opening piece of the entire concert, and because it’s so fast paced,” orchestra officer and Camerata violinist Aadya Siddapur ’23 said. 

The concert was a joyous moment for the orchestras, as students were finally able to showcase their progress to friends and family, as well as others from the wider community.  

“It was my first time going to an orchestra concert, and it sounded amazing. In the Symphony orchestra’s second piece, the sound when they were playing under the bridge was really surprising,” Jessica Wang ’24 said.

This was also the first time that a trailer video had been used to advertise a concert.    

“I think our advertising definitely paid off, because it was a much bigger crowd than we normally have for our fall concerts. I also saw a lot more middle school students there,” Mr. Thompson said. 

Recordings from the concert will be available for viewing on the orchestra YouTube channel at a later date.  

Shreya Selvaraju

 

 

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