Farewell, Seniors

Proudly ending their musical careers at Andover, four of Phillips Academy’s most talented student musicians perfomed their Senior Concertos this past Friday, April 25 in Cochran Chapel. Accompanied by the school’s orchestras, a memorable performance by Allison Parr ’08, Nicholas Gordon ’08, Alyssa Yamamoto ’08 and Jesse Goldman ’08 astonished the audience and lifted the chapel. Parr, a soprano singer, and Gordon on trumpet opened the night with a duo piece by Handel: “Let the Bright Seraphim.” Accompanied by the Academy Amadeus Orchestra, conducted by Teaching Fellow Christina Landolt ’02, the first two performers showed both their musical and technical prowess, especially impressing the audience with their flawless and harmonious cooperation. The soothing, pretty and light piece by Handel displayed the relationship between a vocalist, trumpetist and an accompaniment. Another notable musician of the night was pianist Yamamoto. Her performance with the Academy Chamber Orchestra displayed a strong contrast from the opening piece, with “Piano Concerto No.1 in G Minor”: loud and intimidating, yet absolutely beautiful. She performed the first movement, the “Molto allegro con fuoco,” and awed the audience by demonstrating her technical superiority with quick and dexterous fingers. The slower and lyrical verses showcased her profound lyricism and command of dynamics. “I thought Alyssa did a wonderful job, especially considering our lack of rehearsals. Not only did she play the technical bits spectacularly, she played the piece with emotion. That’s what made her concerto so incredible,” said Kaki Elgin ’09. Goldman, a violinist, performed next. Goldman closed the concert, performing the most anticipated piece of the evening: “Allegro of Violin Concerto No.3 in B minor” by Camillie Saint-Saëns. Dressed to impress, Goldman was definitely the evening’s highlight. He effortlessly handled the complicated piece, and his skill with the violin was evident in his intricate playing. Goldman also showed no signs of intimidation; he often smiled, especially when he shared looks with conductor James Orent. The song itself was an experience, and Goldman brought it to yet another level. Concert Master Katie von Braun ’09 said, “Jesse showed so much genuine passion, love for the instrument. It was an honor to have [the Academy Chamber Orchestra] be on stage with him.” The concert came to a close as Goldman received a standing ovation, and his family and friends all greeted him with support. At the concert’s end, the audience received a surprise; Goldman is not a Phillips Academy senior. In fact, he is graduating from a school nearby, Andover High. But regardless of his label as a “townie,” he participated in the Phillips Academy music program longer than any Phillips Academy student. Goldman began his Phillips Academy musical career as a mere 7th grader and joined the Corelli Ensemble, directed by Elizabeth Aureden. In his later years he moved on to the Academy Symphony and Chamber Orchestras. “I am very thankful! I wouldn’t have done it elsewhere!” said Goldman with charisma, friendliness, and his great smile. The four talented musicians provided a night of wonderful music. Everyone was great to see the developing musicians at Phillips Academy, but also to see that non-Academy students are given a chance to perform and develop through this community.