by Chris Murphree
Regardless of the many activities available on campus for a Friday night, there is only one true way to (musically) pregame for the night ahead. With the Sewanee Symphony Orchestra (SSO). In conjunction with the Sewanee Guitar Festival, the orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Cesar Leal, opened the Easter concert season featuring talented soloists from across the musical spectrum.
Newly minted Sewanee guitar instructor Lucas Finney kicked off the night with selections from Vivaldi’s guitar concertos. The intonation between Finney and the orchestra was delicate and clean yet lively, stirring the audience. Sewanee vocal major Carolyn Ramseur (C’14) highlighted her wide ranging vocal and linguistic talents singing “Porgi Armor” from Mozart’s comic opera Le Nozze di Figar. After a beautiful performance that brought the crowd to its feet, Ramseur continued with an equally exceptional rendition of Gioachino Rossini’s “Una Voce Pocco Fa” from The Barber of Seville.
As the brothers of Lambda Chi set up the stage for the next set of musicians, Flute instructor Abi Coffer prepared for her moment in the spotlight. Showing off her exceptional classical skills with Carl Reineke’s Flute Ballad, Coffer surprised both the audience and members of the orchestra as she showed off her hidden beat boxing skills as she skillfully illustrated the range of her expertise. Finishing up the night was Huiqi Xu (C’17), ambitiously taking on George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. Xu’s preparation and raw talent was most apparent as he breezed his way through the difficult genius and lunacy of the piece.
The skill and dedication of the soloists and orchestra members was embodied by the unrestrained pleasure of the audience, creating a lively atmosphere. Overall, the night was a critical success as musicians from all aspects of the domain and the surrounding communities came together for a musical concoction like no other.