Friday, November 5, 2010

MYA's Fall Concert

Dr. Dennis and me.
I had a Midwest Young Artists concert at Pick-Staiger last Sunday. Midwest Young Artists or MYA is my youth orchestra. We got to dress up in our costumes during the concert. It was very fun. There were two concerts, the first one at 1:30 and the second one at 7:00. Both of my ensembles played in the second concert.

I got to Pick-Staiger at 9:30 because of my sisters, who are in Concertino Orchestra, which had its dress rehearsal then. Afterwards, I went to a restaurant with my mom, my sisters, my friend Katie, my friend Nathan’s sister, and Nathan’s mom, Ms. Goldin. We got back to Pick-Staiger at about 1:00, and I sold raffle tickets until my friend Nathan got to the theater, and I went with him to get a seat in the audience for the first concert. I like watching the younger kids. They are adorable, but they play very well.

Mr. Pearson

The order of the first concert was Cadet Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, Concertino Orchestra, Jazz Orchestra, intermission, Philharmonia, Voices Rising, and Choral. Cadet was conducted by Patrick Pearson, who dressed up as Michael Jackson. They played The Weber Suite by Carl Maria Von Weber, Dragonhunter by Richard Meyer and Boogie Man Boogie by Patrick Pearson. Jazz Ensemble was conducted by Jarrard Harris and played Moanin’ by Bobby Timmons and Carpetbaggers by Dean Sorenson. Concertino Orchestra was conducted by Patrick Pearson and played The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Paul Dukas and March from Carmen by Georges Bizet. Cadet and Concertino sounded great, so did the Jazz Orchestra, but I’m not so keen on jazz, so I’m never a good judge of a jazz concert.

After intermission the Philharmonia Orchestra played. Philharmonia was conducted by Patrick Pearson and played three of the four movements from Peer Gynt Suit, І. Morning Mood, П. The Death of Ase, and Ш. In the Hall of the Mountain King by Edvard Grieg. I loved the way they played it. The first movement was really nice, the second movement was heart breakingly beautiful, and the last movement was really cool.

Concertino Orchestra.  The principal cellist is my sister Rowena.
The next group that performed was Voices Rising who were conducted by Benjamin Gray. They they sang Kyrie by Greg Gilpin, Song for Mira by Allister MacGillivray, and Fireflies by Adam Young. Voices rising then sang with Choral for an amazing performance of Zion’s Walls adapted by Aaron Copland. Last but not least Choral were conducted by Gordon Krauspe and sang Frobisher Bay by James Gordon, Make Them Hear You by Stephen Flaherty, and What’ll I Do By Irving Berlin. I especially loved Frobisher Bay. It was such a beautiful peace, and they sang it perfectly in tune.

At 7:00, after two dress rehearsals, it was time for my concert. Dr. Ripley directs the Honors Wind Symphony, where I’m currently principal clarinet. We played the first and fourth movements of Old Wine in New Bottles by Gordon Jacob, and we played Chester, and When Jesus Wept by William Schuman, not to be confused with Robert Schumann. It was really fun to go first, and I really enjoyed playing in this performance. I had a lot exposure with a number of solos, which was a little nerve-wracking, but very exciting. Michael Cox, the euphonium, had a big solo part and duet with Avery DeMaria who is the principal trumpet. I loved their solos, they played some of the most beautiful music brass music I’ve ever heard. Tamara Winston, our oboeist, also nailed her solos. She has such beautiful phrasing.

Big Band, which is conducted by Chris Madsen followed us with another stellar performance. They played Coda by Garling, Self Portrait of the Bean by Duke Ellington, and Stompin’at the Savoy by Edgar Sampson. They have a big sound, and they don’t sound like kids. They’re quite professional and enjoyed their performance quite a lot, in spite of my renowned lack of enthusiasm for jazz music.

Concert Orchestra
 After intermission, Dr. Dennis’ orchestras performed. Concert Orchestra, where I’m 2nd clarinet went first. We played the first two movements of Dvorak’s 8th Symphony. I love this symphony. There are a lot of A clarinet parts, and I loved the sound of an A clarinet even more than a Bb clarinet. In the first movement, the piece transitions from relaxed and lyrical and beautiful, to insistent and exciting. The 2nd movement is really beautiful, and the ending is very dramatic and energetic, until the last few lines where the tempo slows down and Dvorak introduces a new theme – at least I think that’s the case. In February, we’ll play all 4 movements of the symphony. I can’t wait.

Finally, the Symphony Orchestra took the stage. This is what everyone waits for. My brother plays viola in this orchestra. They played Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra. This is really hard piece. It’s very demanding of all of the sections, and Symphony played it amazingly. I was very impressed. It seemed like the principal clarinet had solos running through the entire piece, and Sam Mattenson played them with astounding musicality. All the soloists were wonderful, but I pay close attention to the clarinets.  My favorite movements were the third, which started with a bassoon part, followed by the clarinets. It was stunning. The fifth movement was real show-stopper to end the concert. The audience was on their feet.

I can’t wait to play with this orchestra!