Orchestra to perform on April 23

The orchestra and three chamber groups will perform at the spring concert on Thursday, April 23, in the MP Room. Orchestra director Felecia Keys weighs in on the pieces the different groups will play.  


“Danny Boy” by Frederick Weatherly is “just a beautiful piece,” Keys said. “It’s slow and moving, which is not easy to do sometimes. It’s hard to sound pretty holding those notes.”

“Variations on an Irish Tune” by Bryan Balamages is fun to play, she said.

“This piece starts (at a) kind of moderate tempo,” Keys said. “And then it gets really slow. And then the end is super fast. What I like is that they have different melodies going on at the same time.”

Additionally, the cellos have a drone that is similar to the sound of a bagpipe, Keys said.

“A Simple Symphony” was written by Benjamin Britten, at a very young age, according to Keys. (In fact, it was written when Britten was 20, but it is based on music he wrote between the ages of nine and 12, according to musicsalesclassical.com.)

Keys let the students choose which movement they wanted to play, and they chose the fourth.

“This was the hardest piece for us,” she said. “It’s not an arrangement for high school. It’s a real piece I’ve played with a professional orchestra before.”

While Keys admitted this was a challenge for most of the students, the players will sound beautiful, she said.

Chamber Groups

Seniors Jaspreet Gill and Emma Williams, junior Serajh Esmail and sophomore Anny Schmidt will perform “Quartet No. 13 in A Minor, Opus 29,” an early Romantic piece by Franz Schubert.

“I love anything Schubert,” Keys said.

Gill and Schmidt are playing underneath the melody, while Williams has flowing eighth notes going, and Esmail has the melody, she said.

“Three very different things are going on, but it blends together,” Key said.

Seniors Lara Kong and Melissa Vazquez, juniors Vanessa Previsic and Anthony Swaminathan and freshman Yasmin Gupta will play a movement from a piece by Italian composer Luigi Boccherini, “Quintet No. 6.”

Keys said she likes the piece from the early classical period because it’s “really light” and “very ornamental.”

“(There) are lots of tricky rhythms that they had to work hard (on) to coordinate,” she said.

Gill, Kong, Vazquez and Esmail will play a piece from the Baroque period called “Sonata in D Major” by Giuseppe Tartini. Originally written for two violins, cello and piano, the piece will feature Kong on the flute in place of a second violin.

A highlight to look for is the many trills, Keys said.

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