By Nathaniel Klein
As winter draws ever nearer and the weather becomes as cold and wet as the Sewanee fog grows opaque, it is easy for the spirit to fall, but fortunately, Sewanee provides an excellent tonic to rouse community members in these dreary days: music.
The Sewanee Symphony Orchestra gave their first concert of the year in Guerry Auditorium, conducted by artistic director César Leal, on November 6. Featuring the music of Bernstein, Haydn, and Tchaikovsky, the performance featured a broad range of musical styles and energies showcasing the talents of Sewanee musicians.
The concert began with the West Side Story Overture by Leonard Bernstein, a fiery and bombastic piece that ignited the energy of the packed auditorium. The brass and percussion sections were especially impressive in carrying forth the power of the piece, kicking off the concert with gusto.
The second piece featured solos by visiting instructor of cello Kaitlyn Vest in Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major, whose beautiful work on the cello created some of the concert’s most memorable moments. Haydn’s music offered a tranquil and melodious contrast to Bernstein’s, with the range of pieces allowing Sewanee’s musician to demonstrate their range of skill and their ability to create tone and emotion with music.
Finally, there could not have been a better piece chosen to welcome winter to Sewanee than Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite. The orchestra delivered these truly classic movements with excellent energy and skill. Sewanee harpist Molly Morgan (C’22) began the last movement with beautiful glissandos, and the concert’s finale was every bit as crowd-pleasing as one could hope for.
Sewanee students are incredibly lucky to be able to attend such wonderful performances by student musicians. The Sewanee Symphony Orchestra will give another concert on February 9 and give their last concert of the season on April 4.