On Friday, October 30, at 7:30 p.m. in Guerry Auditorium, the Sewanee Symphony Orchestra held their third annual Halloween Concert. Earlier the same day, the Orchestra also gave a concert to elementary school children in the area. Entitled “Escape the Fog,” that night’s concert was conducted by Artistic Director Cesar Leal. The Orchestra’s program was the perfect mix of spooky and conventional, with pieces played masterfully to the enjoyment of their audience.
To add to the Halloween festivities, members of the orchestra dressed up in their Halloween costumes, a nice touch to the eerie and whimsical music they played. The Orchestra’s first piece was Beethoven’s dramatic “Egmont Overture,” followed by Rachmaninoff/Schmid’s “Prelude in Cm, Op. 3 No. 2,” which was perhaps the most Halloweenesque piece of the night. Their third piece, Bizet’s “L’Arlésienne Suite No. 2,” was much lighter fare, with softer melodies and a more playful mood. Next, the Orchestra played two pieces by L. Anderson: “Penny Whistle Song” and “Syncopated Clock.” These two familiar tunes were also of a more jubilant mood, celebrating the lightheartedness of Halloween.The last piece of the night was “Masquerade Dances” by A. Khachaturian, returning the theme of the night to a more mischievous, eerie thread. The piece’s first movement, “Waltz,” is both spooky and carefree. The next movement, “Nocturne,” as well as the fourth movement, “Romance,” evoked a sort of careful nostalgia for times and Halloweens gone by. However, the third and fifth movements, “Mazurka” and “Gallop” respectively, ended the night on a festive mood, appropriate for the night before trick-or-treating and Halloween parties.
The Sewanee Symphony Orchestra did a wonderful job at their concert, ushering in Halloween with well-chosen and well played pieces with a range of moods. Their next concert will focus on a different holiday season—on December 4, make sure to come out and support the Orchestra at “Celebrate the Season.”