Xavier Chamber Orchestra hosts first concert of the year

By: Alex Spindler

The Xavier Department of Music’s Chamber Orchestra sponsored its first major concert of the year with a performance in the Gallagher Student Center Theatre.

This concert is the first of many that the department is showcasing this week in its 2013 Fall Music Festival.

Dr. Matthew Westgate conducted the ensemble of string musicians in an evening of music and intense storytelling.

The ensemble is composed of current Xavier students along with current Xavier faculty, visiting faculty and special alumni.

Admission to Tuesday night’s engagement was free, yet the group has been collecting donations to help sponsor its planned European tour for next year.

Beginning with Mozart’s classic “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik,” the ensemble then ventured into darker pieces by Vivaldi and Mendelssohn, growing in intensity and speed.

Junior Lauren Holt and first year Stephanie Schaeper (violinists) took center stage to perform Vivaldi’s “Concerto for Two Violins in A-Minor.” These soloists displayed their string expertise, playing flawlessly in a duet that was backed by an equally impressive ensemble.

The piece, generally classical in style, showcased the best of the ensemble and was a favorite of audience.

For the finale, the ensemble performed Georg Philipp Telemann’s “Don Quixote Suite TV 55,” a piece split into eight sections, along with Aaron Copland’s more modern “Hoe-down.”

If anyone missed out on the Chamber Orchestra performance Tuesday night, the Department of Music has other performance opportunities available. The Fall Jazz Concert, featuring the Xavier Jazz Ensemble, will perform in the Gallagher Theatre Wednesday evening.

Also, the Fall Choral Concert featuring the Concert Choir, the Men’s and Women’s Choruses and the Edgecliff Vocal Ensemble, will perform in Bellarmine Chapel Wednesday evening.

Wrapping up the festival on Thursday will be the Symphonic Winds concert, featuring the Xavier Symphonic Winds, in the Gallagher Theatre. All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. and are free of charge.