Honors Orchestra Takes 2013 Performance Around the World

UWS Hon­ors Orches­tra per­formed their lat­est piece Octo­ber 2, it was the eighth annual per­for­mance for the orches­tra. Each year, Dr. Erin Aldridge and UW-Superior Cham­ber Orches­tra host the UW Supe­rior Hon­ors Orches­tra. The Hon­ors Orches­tra con­sists of the Northland’s finest high school string play­ers and they come together for a day of clin­ics and rehearsals with fac­ulty. The rehearsals cul­mi­nated in a beau­ti­ful, evening con­cert held at the Thorpe Lan­g­ley Audi­to­rium in Old Main that fea­tured both the Hon­ors Orches­tra and the UW– Supe­rior Cham­ber Orchestra.

This year’s fes­ti­val, called A Global Jour­ney, show­cased mul­ti­cul­tural string orches­tral music, includ­ing pieces from Colom­bia, Ire­land, Nor­way, Italy, Africa, and Roma­nia. Stu­dents had the oppor­tu­nity to work with UWS string fac­ulty Nixon Bus­tos (string bass), Nicole Cray­craft (vio­lin) and Christina Roytz (Cello). The stu­dents and teach­ers also had the chance to enjoy a meal in the Yel­low jacket Union while lis­ten­ing to the UWS Jazz Band performance.

The Global Jour­ney pieces per­formed by the Hon­ors Orches­tra began promptly at 5 o’clock. The orches­tra was con­ducted by Kevin Hoeschen and he did a excel­lent job with these stu­dents. The night started with a piece called Vari­a­tions on a Theme by Giro­lamo Fres­cobaldi, which was a com­pelling piece to start out the night. The sec­ond piece played was Roman­ian Folk Dances by Bela Bar­tok. This musi­cal arrange­ment is usu­ally a suite of six short pieces but only four were played. The four that were played were Joc Cu Bata (Dance with Sticks), Braul (Waist­band Dance), Poarca Romaneasca (Roman­ian Polka), and Marun­tel (Quick Dance). Alia Grib­bon from Den­feld High School got the chance to show­case her tal­ents in these pieces with a beau­ti­ful vio­lin solo.

The next piece, called Moliendo Café was assisted by the UWS Per­cus­sion Ensem­ble. It was arranged by Ricardo Her­nan­dez and it was a very upbeat piece. It was a tra­di­tional Colom­bian salsa piece, which car­ried itself very well with the addi­tion of the per­cus­sion instru­ments. If you like fast paced, Nor­we­gian music then you would have enjoyed the groups next per­for­mance, which was Kevin Hoeschen’s stated per­sonal favorite of the night. This piece was called From Holberg’s Time: Suite in the Olden Style, which was arranged by Edvard Grieg.

David Packa led the next per­for­mance and it was by far one of my favorite pieces of the night. This piece was a Tra­di­tional Niger­ian Greet­ing Song arranged by Todd Hammes and it was called Eh Wa Ba Wa Jo. the song was com­posed mostly of per­cus­sion instru­ments. It was a fun song to lis­ten to because of the excit­ing time the Per­cus­sion Ensem­ble was hav­ing per­form­ing it. Dur­ing part of the piece the Orches­tra started clap­ping and singing, which I thought was a wel­come addition.

The piece after that one was Irish Tune from County Derry and that was arranged by Percy Grainger. I liked that one a lot as well, it was very cul­tural sound­ing. One of the last pieces to the night was music from The Lord of the Dance arranged by Larry Moore. It was a very pow­er­ful piece with a solo by Melanie Sever on the flute and on the bodhrán was Michael Lueck. A bodhrán is a tra­di­tional Irish drum held in one hand and played with the other in con­junc­tion with a spe­cial drum stick.

Finally, the Orches­tra went back into the end of the first pieces they had per­formed ear­lier in the evening to help fin­ish off the night. Every­one of the artists who per­formed stood up to take a bow and received a won­der­ful roar of applause from the crowd. The per­for­mance was sixty min­utes of well put-together per­for­mance that show­cased diver­sity from many cul­tures around the globe.

 

 

 

 

Image cour­tesy of Nathan Kashak — The Stinger
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