Why Are the Orchestra Students Disappearing?

Wonder why your friend that happens to be in orchestra wasn’t in class yesterday? For two weeks orchestra students missed class more frequently than usual, and some have no idea why. Don’t worry, we were not all coincidentally sick at the same time; we had actually been preparing for the concert with the Long Island Concert Orchestra. This concert was Thursday, February 28th, and it was a hit!

Students from orchestra had met in small groups with professional string players. As a violinist, I had the opportunity to meet with Laura Mole, an experienced violinist in the Long Island Concert Orchestra. Laura has been playing since she was nine years old. She actually realized her love for music through lessons in high school and ended up studying music in Queens College. Working with Laura Mole helped me learn how to play the music efficiently and comfortably.

Our conductor was David Wiley. David Stewart Wiley won the Aspen Conducting Prize, was Assistant Conductor for the Aspen Music Festival, and was awarded a Conducting Fellowship at Tanglewood. He also holds both a Doctorate and Master of Music degree in Conducting from Indiana University and a degree in Piano Performance with honors from the New England Conservatory of Music. Wiley also served as Music Director & Conductor of the Long Island Philharmonic from 2001 until last year. He travels regularly to NY to work with the Long Island Concert Orchestra. David Wiley is the glue that keeps the orchestra all together. He likes the orchestra students to imagine the music visually and gives some background behind every piece during rehearsals. He encouraged us to play as if there were no bar lines, as smoothly as possible during “Morgenstimmung,” one of Edvard Grieg’s pieces. He said to imagine a sunrise and to intensify our sound later in the piece as if the sun had risen. These visuals made me more connected to the music and therefore enhanced my performance.

We had a diverse selection of pieces. We played “Pirates of the Carribean” by Klaus Badelt and “Danse Negre” by S.Coleridge. We also played three pieces by Edvard Grieg: “Morgenstimmung,” “Ases tod,” and “Tanz in der Halle des bergkoning.” I personally loved playing Pirates of the Carribean. Now let’s not give the Wheatley orchestra all the credit, the Wheatley band also made an appearance. The presence of the Wheatley band especially made “Pirates of the Carribean” sound beautiful. Hearing the wind instruments combined with all the strings was very melodious. I especially loved the flutes during “Morgenstimmung” by Edvard Grieg.

If you missed this year’s concert, don’t worry; there will be another one next year! These concerts are free and are high quality. Let your fellow orchestra friends know that their hard work paid off. Next year when Orchestra Students start disappearing from your classes, it may be a sign that the Long Island Concert Orchestra is performing yet again!


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