Senior Concerto Concert

The Senior Concerto Concert honored eight seniors who have shared their musical gifts with the Andover community during their careers here. The students impressed the audience one last time with solo performances, accompanied by Christopher Walters, Instructor in Music, on piano. The concert opened with the angelic voice of Kerstin Brolsma ’11. She sang an aria from Mozart’s opera, “The Marriage of Figaro.” In this aria, titled “Deh vieni, non tarder,” meaning “Oh Come, Don’t Delay,” Brolsma played Susanna, a girl singing to her lover, Figaro. Patrick Brady ’11 stepped onto the stage with a comical introduction for his piece. He performed Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutte,” a story of two couples who unwittingly swap fiancés. He sang with dramatic expression and personality, at once impressing the audience with his vocal mastery and entertaining. Following Brady, Jasmine Edison ’11 performed “Batti, Batti” from Mozart’s opera, “Don Giovanni.” Edison took the role of Zerlina, a young peasant girl who attempts to console her newlywed husband, Masetto. She convincingly fit her character using palpable expressions and little gestures. Edison said, “I had to pretend I was a coquettish woman whose husband was kind of pissed, and I liked to get into that character.” As the echoes of Mozart’s operas died out, the chapel filled with the sounds of various instruments. Minyoung Kwon ’11 played Handel’s “Concerto in B Flat” on the harp, accompanied by Patrick Kabanda on the organ. Kwon mesmerized the audience with her ability to phrase and bring out the melody. “Kwon’s performance made me picture syrupy gold. It was really good,” said Hannah Lee ’12. Shirley Guo ’11 came on stage, perfectly poised as she sat at the piano to play Beethoven’s second “Piano Concerto.” The audience perceived Guo’s concentration from the first note until the very last. Despite her calm appearance, Guo was actually quite apprehensive before coming on stage. “I was nervous but I had rehearsed it with Mr. Walter, and everyone was really supportive. I thought I was going to get really nervous and seize up, but I didn’t. I knew Mr. Walter put a lot of work into it, and I’ve been practicing it for a long time,” said Guo. After an intermission, Peter Bang ’11 started the second half of the concert with Carl Maria von Weber’s first “Clarinet Concerto.” The piece highlighted the range of the clarinet with notes going from its lowest registers to some of its highest. Brandon Lam ’11 brought a more modern composer to the show when he performed the first movement of William Walton’s “Viola Concerto.” He captured the piece’s unique aspects, showcasing the interesting colors and rhythms, as well as harmonies that were slightly foreign to the audience. “I am very glad that I [performed]. I was a little nervous at first, but as I started playing I just let the music flow, and I enjoyed every second of it,” said Lam. Beethoven reappeared for the final movement of the night as Jennifer Zhou ’11 took the stage to play the first movement of his “Piano Concerto No. 3.” Zhou’s stage presence and the intensity of her performance kept the audience members on the edges of their seats until the final, tremendous chord. At the conclusion of the concert, every performer lined up on stage for a final standing ovation, rid of any fear or stage fright. The Concerto Concert allowed those seniors unable to perform concertos with the Orchestra to share their exceptional talents and passion for music. James Orent, Conductor of the Academy Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, said, “[The concert] was fantastic. It was wonderful that we were able to showcase so many talented seniors, as there isn’t enough room in the Academy and Chamber Orchestra schedule, because we have to do orchestral music too.” “The performances were uniformly secure and musical, and it was great to see how so many of the performances had grown since the fall when we heard the auditions. ” The performers masterfully displayed three arias and five movements from major concerto repertoires. Next year, younger musicians will have to work hard to secede these talented musicians who will graduate in the spring.