Romantic Solo and Divertimento: Academy Orchestras Present Final Show

With the final chord of Sibelius’ “Violin Concerto in D minor” echoing in the Cochran Chapel, violinist Derrick Seo ’23 concluded his Senior Soloist performance. On Sunday evening, Sibelius, along with the Academy’s Chamber, Symphony, and Amadeus Orchestras performed their final concert of the Winter term.

Seo expressed his appreciation for the school’s orchestras throughout his musical career at Andover. Surrounded by his peers, Seo felt empowered during his Senior Soloist performance on Sunday.

“Facing the audience and listening to the beautiful orchestra behind me is an experience I never thought I would get at Andover, but there I was on Sunday, performing with people I love. They played the difficult piece incredibly well and were incredibly supportive, even staying past sign-in for some rehearsals,” said Seo.

Derek Jacoby, conductor of the Chamber and Symphony Orchestras and Instructor in Music, expressed pride in his performers. Jacoby also reflected on their development over the course of the term, particularly in the piece “Divertimento No.11 in D major” by Mozart.

“I would be most proud of Derrick’s performance on the Sibelius, and the orchestra playing the Mozart Divertimento with no conductor… they of course got better and better at the notes and rhythms, they got better at expressing the musicality of the pieces, they got better at non-verbal communication amongst either me and the players or between the players and each other,” said Jacoby.

Audience member Evalyn Lee ’23 was impressed by the Chamber Orchestra’s ability to stay in time with one another without a conductor in Mozart’s “Divertimento.”

“I also really enjoy going to all of the orchestra concerts because it is very meditative, and I just like to absorb the music and think during the music. It’s almost like going to church for me… I really liked the piece that was self-conducted… It was so impressive that all the musicians were able to stay in time with one another, and make it sound so beautiful,” said Lee.

Although there were some challenges during the rehearsal process, constant practice and communication ultimately allowed the Chamber Orchestra to piece together a successful performance, supporting Seo in his solo piece. Kei Obata ’23 noted that numerous Seniors had to miss weekly rehearsals for college auditions.

“Rehearsals were a bit tougher this term because it coincided with some events, and I know I personally had music auditions that overlapped with the orchestra rehearsals. So I’m proud of the final result that we were able to put out,” said Obata.

Double-bassist Will Lucas ’24 explained that this performance was especially meaningful because it commemorated all the performers’ hard work throughout the term, especially Seo.

“[Derrick] was just completely amazing [playing] it. It was so fun to support him as part of his orchestra, and it was just awesome to see him be able to showcase his talents… I think that Derrick has been in the orchestra as long as I have been here at least, and it was just awesome to see him get the spotlight,” said Lucas.