By JUDE SALAM
University High School’s Fall Orchestra Concert was the first concert of the year. The show featured all the orchestras: String, Concert, Philharmonic and Symphony. The concert was an especially significant event as it was the first ever performance of new orchestra director, Mr. Andrew Winslow.
“This was my first full concert of my teaching career,” Winslow said, “I felt all the groups performed their very best and they really showed the audience how prepared they were.”
The orchestra students seemingly reciprocated this enthusiasm in regard to their new instructor, seeing it as an opportunity to consider an original, unfamiliar perspective in order to move forward and grow with a fresh mindset to be successful in their future musical expeditions throughout the rest of the year.
“It was our first time playing with Mr. Winslow, our new conductor/teacher,” said junior Neel Choudhary, “so the beginning [of the rehearsal process] involved a lot of getting familiar with him and learning how to follow the way he conducts.”
In regard to the execution of the concert itself, students mostly agree that one of the most challenging aspects of the performance was adjusting to playing on the theater stage.
“It’s really different playing on the stage rather than in the rehearsal room, since everything is much more spread out and harder to follow, however,” junior Jingwen Hu said, “we managed to stay together and the tone was amazing.”
Choudhary also shared that his favorite part of the performance was his experience playing the intense climax of the piece “Charterhouse Suite.”
“You could feel everyone’s energy skyrocketing and it was really thrilling to be a part of that,” Choudhary said.
A particularly interesting piece was, Symphony Orchestra’s “Rounds for Strings Orchestra,” a classical piece composed by David Diamond. The piece was composed by Diamond in 1944, in the midst of World War 2. It was a fast, delicate piece that featured a sing-song theme with the melody going back and forth between violins and cellos.
Winslow hopes for the orchestra students to continue challenging themselves in future concerts and for them to carry on in their musical endeavors with a priority on further growth and improvement.
“What I don’t want to see, is us having a successful fall concert and playing easy holiday music,” Winslow said, “I really want them to … play more maturely from concert cycle to concert cycle with the goal of setting them up to advance to a higher orchestra in the following years.”