Academy Orchestras and Concert Bands Perform for Parents

Proud parents visiting for Parents’ Weekend came to see their children perform at the Academy Bands and Orchestras concert in Cochran Chapel last Friday. Three different ensembles performed: the Corelli Ensemble, co-directed by Elizabeth Aureden and Holly Barnes, Instructors in Music, the Amadeus Ensemble, directed by Christina Landolt, Instructor in Music, and the Academy Chamber Orchestra, directed by James Orent, Conductor in the Music Department. Two symphonies also played, the Academy Symphony and the Academy Concert Orchestras. The Academy Chamber Orchestra performed the first song, “Renaissance Festival and Dances.” As the piece began, brass instruments made a bold entrance and finally transitioned to a more upbeat and carnival tone. Throughout the piece, tubas, trumpets and trombones contrasted the mellow serenades of the oboes and clarinets. Once the Academy Chamber Orchestra finished, the Corelli Ensemble filed onto the stage and played “Fantasy on Simple Gifts,” a traditional folk song by Robert Kerr. The harmony of strings filled the chapel as cellos, violas and violins together created a cheerful tune. Next the Amadeus Ensemble played “Sinfonia No.12 in G minor” by Felix Mendelssohn. The piece began upbeat, then had a dramatic twist. “[Sinfonia No.12 in G minor] is a wonderful piece and I had assumed that we had done it more recently then we did, and then I was talking to some of the other faculty members and they were like no we haven’t done that in years, maybe 20 years. So, I said alright well let’s reawaken it,” said Landolt. “Mendelssohn is always a good choice for string groups as well as Corelli,” she continued. Jenna Shin ’14, a member of the Amadeus and Academy Orchestra said, “I really like playing the violin because you can really channel your emotions through your playing and it relieves your stress after a busy week.” The groups also played “Folk Song suite for Military Band” by Ralh Vaughan Williams and “Concerto in B minor” by Antonio Vivaldi. Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5 in C minor” provided a unified and majestic finale, as all the instruments had strong, grand endings. The ensembles and symphonies at Andover perform four to five concerts throughout the year. “This year, we have an overall strong group [on the Corelli Ensemble],” said Barnes. “Corelli tends to be kids who have just started playing their instrument, or who have played their instrument but not for too long,” said Landolt. According to Landolt, students in the Amadeus Ensemble have been playing their instruments longer and can handle more challenging music, and the Academy Chamber Orchestra is like the “Varsity” of the three groups. Landolt said, “The best way for someone to progress with their instrument is to practice and to expose oneself to as different stuff as possible.” Encompassing a wide variety of pieces, the concert had a good turnout and gave parents and visiting family members an opportunity to relax and enjoy watching their children perform.