Symphony Orchestra says ‘Vive la France’
February 15, 2011Tweet
The University Symphony Orchestra will celebrate the music of France at its first spring concert at 3 p.m. Feb. 26, at the First Presbyterian Church in Binghamton.
“Vive la France” is built around Andantino and Scherzo Brillante, a Paul Jeanjean piece discovered by Professor Timothy Perry, conductor for the Symphony Orchestra and chair of the Music Department.
“It’s never been performed in the United States,” said Heather Worden, assistant conductor. “It kind of got lost. When (Perry) found it, he got excited and wanted to perform it with me since I am a clarinetist, as well.”
The 16-minute composition is the second piece of the concert. It will be preceded by Leo Delibes’ Le Roi s’amuse.
“It’s light, ballet-like music to get you into the program,” Worden said. “When you listen to the ballet suite, you can sense the French countryside. It feels French.”
The second half of the concert will feature Camille Saint-Saens’ Symphony No. 3 “The Organ.”
The orchestra consists of 73 members, with the majority being non-music majors “who love to play,” Worden said. The orchestra performs two concerts per semester and rehearses in sections on Monday nights and as a full group on Wednesday nights.
All members must audition each fall, no matter what their abilities are, Worden said.
“It’s good because we can hear the improvements so people have a chance to move seats (in the orchestra),” Worden said.
The orchestra’s strings and winds sections are strong, Worden said, and the students are good readers of music.
“The caliber of music we are able to do is much higher because of they way they can read music,” she said. “These students are pre-med, biology, engineering students who can look mathematically at a piece of music. Their technical abilities are so strong.”
Worden came to Binghamton University in fall 2009 to pursue a master’s in music after graduating from Houghton College. She normally helps prepare music and rehearsals and then leads the orchestra for a piece during the concert. For “Vive la France,” Worden will have the baton for the entire show, as it is her master’s thesis program.
“I love conducting,” she said. “There is pressure because now it’s on me and I definitely feel what my professors have always told me: There are sleepless nights and worrying if it all is going to come together. But the (students) are doing so well. That makes it a lot of fun.
“Leading an orchestra is so rewarding,” she added. “When you are behind the baton, you get to put in your feelings, your emotions and you can make the composers’ notes come to life.”
Worden hopes the audience enjoys the notes that come to life from the French composers.
“I want people to leave thinking ‘Wow! What an amazing array of music that was,’” she said. “I want them to be moved. That’s my goal.”
Tickets for the performance at First Presbyterian Church (42 Chenango St., Binghamton) are $10 for the general public; $5 for faculty/staff/seniors; and free for students.