Washburn, Free State orchestras share stage

Regina Budden

Music director Norman Gamboa and the Washburn Symphony Orchestra split the stage Feb. 23 with the Free State Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Lynn Basow. The concert, held in White Concert Hall, also featured the Columbian-born soprano Victoria Sofia Botero.

The Free State Symphony Orchestra was invited as a special recognition to its members for their hard work in the field of music.

“Once a year we like to invite a high school ensemble to play with us,” said Gamboa.

Normally, the credit for the work falls on the director, but when they come to the University, it is a way to recognize their efforts, too.

“It’s a nice way for us to thank them for being so dedicated and laborious,” said Gamboa.

The evening opened with Free State playing an allegro from “Concerto in A Minor by Bach,” with a violin solo by student Jenny Loewen. Next, Juliet Remmers took a soprano solo of “Love is a Plaintive Song,” by Sullivan, with the entire symphony as accompaniment. Another violin solo, played by Victoria Gilman, snaked through the Lawrence High School’s performance of a Mozart piece, an allegro from “Concerto in A Major.” Free State’s half of the event concluded with the “Hungarian Dance, No. 5” by Brahms.

The Washburn Symphony Orchestra took over the stage with two pieces by Villa-Lobos: “Prelude” and “Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5.” Botero, the soloist featured in the latter of these pieces, is a Columbian-born performer. She has an extensive career as a soloist and performer in music-related theatre. Botero has a bachelor’s degree of music in vocal performance from The Catholic University of America, and is currently working on a master’s degree in vocal performance, and a master’s degree in history and literature at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Gamboa said he heard her voice in a performance and “had to have her sing for us.”

The symphony orchestra’s sixth concert of the year concluded with Schubert’s “Symphony No. 8,” or “Unfinished” symphony. This piece contains only the first two movements instead of the traditional four, and was not publically played until 32 years after Schubert’s death.