The Symphony Orchestra and Choirs concert will be Thursday, May 28, at 7:30 p.m.
Dr. Robert Tueller, orchestra director, said the first orchestra concert of the season will feature the choirs and showcase classical pieces written by the famous composers Amadeus Mozart and Richard Wagner.
Tueller said that while the performances at events such as devotionals showcase the religious pieces that these groups perform, he said the concerts are their opportunity to showcase the more classical pieces.
“The orchestra will occasionally present at devotional with choirs when we are collaborating on music that is appropriate for a devotional setting,” Tueller said. “Often, this happens at Christmas time or every other year when we commission a sacred oratorio by a LDS composer. In this case, the Mozart Vespers is more of a concert piece and wouldn’t fit in a devotional setting.”
Tueller said this concert will open and close with a song played by just the orchestra and will feature the choir with the middle song.
“The orchestra will perform Siegfried Idyll by Richard Wagner, then the chorus will join us on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s sacred Vespers, then the orchestra will finish the concert with Mozart’s Haffner Symphony No. 35,” Tueller said.
Andre Gaspar, a violinist in the symphony orchestra and junior studying musical education, said his favorite piece to play is Mozart’s Haffner Symphony.
“I’d say that the piece I’m most looking forward to playing tomorrow is the Haffner piece by Mozart,” Gaspar said. “It’s a lot of fun. By the end, I’m always smiling and exhausted and super dead.”
Gaspar said the Symphony Orchestra is the orchestra that requires audition at the beginning of the semester. He said they usually have two concerts: one in the middle of the semester and one at the end.
“We usually have half a semester to prepare for a concert,” Gaspar said. “It’s trying material and pushes us a lot to pull it off, whereas most universities have longer semesters to prepare. So it’s challenging, but we pull it off.”
Rebecca Lord, choir director, said the music that will be performed is very challenging, even for professionals.
“Mozart is known among professional musicians for writing that is deceptively difficult,” Lord said. “Beautiful lines that may sound simple require absolute mastery to perform well. Our students, orchestra, choir and soloists have had to work incredibly hard to learn the pieces for this concert. They have grown tremendously in the process.”
Tueller said Lord will direct the piece that the choir and orchestra sing together.
Lord said the choral arrangement will feature four vocal soloists for the piece written by Mozart entitled Vesperae solennes de confessore, more commonly known as Solemn Vespers.
“The Solemn Vespers is composed of five psalms and the Magnificat,” Lord said. “The psalms flow from one to another, praising God as triumphant, one who will conquer all wickedness, then praising his mercy and goodness and the beautiful works of his hands. For our performance, we have four student soloists: Stephanie Peterson, soprano; Kailee Fullmer, mezzo soprano; Michael Seare, tenor; and Kevin Green, bass. Auditions for these solos were very competitive, and the singers who were chosen are truly outstanding.”
Lord said that usually the choirs and orchestras perform independent of each other, but for some pieces, only the two groups combined could do it justice.
“The major choral orchestral works are among the greatest, most impacting compositions written,” Lord said. “They bring together the expressive qualities of text and the human voice with the diverse soundscape that only an orchestra can provide. This combination allows both choir and orchestra to surpass what they could accomplish on their own of communicating a message with power.”
Tueller said the orchestra and choir try to collaborate regularly.
“It gives the students exposure to a great variety of repertoire,” Tueller said.
The concert will be at 7:30 p.m. at the Barrus Concert Hall. Tickets are $3 for students and $6 for the general public. Event dress is required.