On Sunday, October 5, the Colgate University Orchestra had its first of two concerts this semester in the Colgate Memorial Chapel. For the concert, the orchestra performed multiple songs, including “Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A minor.”
The performance began with “Masquerade Suite,” a piece written by Russian composer Aram Khachaturian to accompany a 1835 play named “Masquerade” by Mikhail Lermontov. The play was a critique of Soviet aristocracy in the 19th century and the vices that plagued them. The piece, written by Khachaturian, tells the story of toils of some of the play’s characters and the turmoil in World War II era Europe.
The next piece, “Piano Concerto No. 5 in F major,” nicknamed “Egyptian,” was written by Camille Saint Saëns in 1896. The piece, according to its composer, mirrors a sea voyage and was influenced by Japanese, Spanish and Middle Eastern music.
“I think we did absolutely amazing,” sophomore and orchestra member Alessandra Devia said. “We had great energy and stamina to hold us through and our hard work paid off as usual. It was exhausting but definitely worth it. I loved seeing all the pieces come alive. There are also no words to describe how awesome the soloist was, extremely talented, passionate and enjoyable to watch and perform with.”
The pianist at this concert was Andrew Armstrong. He is very well known and has performed all over Asia, Europe, Latin America and the United States. Some of the places where he has performed include Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.
The orchestra, which is conducted by Professor and Chair of Music Marietta Cheng, is unique because it is composed of both students and professionals from Hamilton and the surrounding towns. They believe that having students and professionals sitting next to each other creates an optimal learning environment. Each student receives sectional and individual coaching from the professionals and practice along with them. The Colgate University Orchestra’s next performance is November 9 in the Colgate Memorial Chapel at 3:30 p.m. and admission, as always, is free.