WU orchestras hold concert at White Concert Hall


Tyler Smith

Members of the Washburn Symphony Orchestra stand to accept the final applause. The concert ended with the orchestra’s performance of Haydn’s Symphony No. 44.

On Friday, March 3, the Washburn String Orchestra and the Washburn Symphony Orchestra performed in White Concert Hall. Both ensembles were directed by Silas Huff, director of orchestras.

The concert opened with the Washburn String Orchestra’s performance of “Oblivion,” by Astor Piazzolla, which featured a solo by Emily Foltz, the oboe instructor at Washburn. The ensemble then performed the four movements of “Danzas de Panama,” by William Grant Still.

The next ensemble to perform was the Washburn Symphony Orchestra, which began with a performance of “Maranatha,” by Elena Specht, which had never been performed in Kansas before. The orchestra then played Franz Josef Haydn’s Symphony No. 44.

The performance wasn’t easy to pull off. Sam O’Hara-Arrington explained how the speed of some of the pieces was challenging.

“Haydn’s 44th symphony is just a very hard string symphony to play,” said O’Hara-Arrington. “It’s very fast, as you could tell. So I think just trying to get all of the notes under my fingers was the hardest part.”

Ethan Shorb, freshman in music education, played in both ensembles and said that the length of the pieces, specifically the symphony, also made the performance difficult.

“After the first movement, my back was hurting,” said Shorb. “I was trying to enjoy it. I was doing my best.”

O’Hara-Arrington also thought the long pieces were challenging.

“This is the first time our orchestra has actually played an entire symphony. It’s really long. It’s hard,” said O’Hara-Arrington.

Another challenging aspect of this concert, according to Taryn Emery, sophomore biology major, was the lack of student players.

“We don’t have as many players for this concert. That’s partially because there’s a lot of pep band stuff, so a lot of the woodwinds and stuff are out,” said Emery.

Because of the lack of players, the orchestra had to be filled in with faculty and community

“In my entire section, I’m the only student. So all my members are community members, so they all have their own separate lives and their own jobs. So it’s really hard to get everybody to come together sometimes,” said Emery. “Everyone’s missed a little bit of everything, so getting everything wrapped up and put together was a little bit hard. It was tricky to get everything lined up and on the same page.”

Despite the challenges, the ensemble members felt good about their performance.

“I think it went well,” said O’Hara-Arrington. “We actually went way faster than we rehearsed. So everyone was kind of hanging on for dear life, but we pulled it off. I thought it went as well as could be expected.”

“I think it went well, overall,” said Shorb. “I think it went about as good as it could have gone.”

The next performance by the Washburn orchestras will be at the President’s Concert on Friday, May 5 at 7:30 p.m. The concert will be held in White Concert Hall and will feature a combination of soloists, the orchestra and the Washburn choirs.

Edited by Glorianna Noland and LeSha’ Davis