Monday, November 01, 2004

A Concert Review

The local paper actually reviewed our community orchestra concert. I dare say this is the first time I've played in an ensemble that has received print for a performance!

Orchestra Gives Audience An Old-Fashioned Style Concert
IN REVIEW
By ROBERT W.PLYLER


The Jamestown Area Community Orchestra treated a local audience to an old fashioned Sunday afternoon concert at First Covenant Church of Jamestown. The volunteer ensemble, with 40 members, produced an hour-long program of relatively brief, popular works which provided a delightful and uplifting experience. Andrew D. Coccagnia conducted the orchestra, and provided genial, informative spoken program notes.
The program began with Johannes Brahms’ “Hungarian Dance, No. 5,” which they performed energetically.
The only work of the day which wasn’t completely successful came second. The principal theme from the film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is by John Williams, and contains his famous uplifting masses of sound, but the instrumentalists had some trouble producing enough ensemble within each instrument part to really do
it justice.
Things were back on track for Antonin Dvorak’s “Slavonik Dance, No. 3,” another rhythmic Eastern Europe dance work which the conductor reported was inspired by true Slavic folk music, and by the Brahms work which began the program.
Percussion and lower brass instruments then got a brief vacation, while the rest of the orchestra provided a beautiful, melodic and gentle Fantasia on ‘Greensleeves,’ which is one of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ most popular and recognizable compositions. The flute solo was especially noteworthy in that performance.
The first half of the program ended with a lively reading of Gliere’s “Russian Sailors’ Dance.”
The concert was performed free of charge, but at this point of the performance, a freewill offering was taken, to help defray the cost of purchasing music and other such expenses.
Following intermission, they played a medley of selections from the popular Broadway show Fiddler on the Roof, which began with a brief soliloquy from that show, performed with great effect by Russ Germaine. Germaine later performed an especially effective trumpet solo within the medley.
The performance concluded with Offenbach’s popular “Overture to Orpheus in the Underworld”’ a lively piece best known as the familiar accompaniment to the dancing of the exotic can-can.
Short, melodic and completely accessible, the program sent the audience smiling into a cold and windy afternoon. The next concert by the Jamestown Area Community Orchestra will be performed May 22, 2005.

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