Wheaton’s Great Woods Chamber Orchestra traveled to Smith College to perform in Celestial Melodies on April 16. The program featured Gordeli’s “Concertino for Flute and Orchestra, Op. 8,” Gould’s “American Salute” and Holst’s “The Planets, Op. 32. “
As well as the Great Woods Chamber Orchestra, Celestial Melodies hosted the Smith Orchestra and the Smith College Choirs. The pieces were conducted by Delvyn Case, Associate Professor of Music at Wheaton College, Jonathan Hirsh, Director of Orchestral and Choral Activities at Smith College and Amanda G. Huntleigh, Assistant Director of Choral Activities and Lecturer in Music at Smith College.
The program began with a piece highlighting the talents of Sunnie Yi Ning, the Smith College Orchestra Concerto Competition winner. The piece included portions that were both quick and slow but came together cohesively. The concert continued with American Salute, which featured melodies from the recognizable “When Johnny Comes Marching Home,” giving it a patriotic feel.
The Wheaton College Orchestra joined in in the second half of the concert, which featured “The Planets, Op. 32.” The piece had seven movements, each titled after planets and including descriptions hinting at the sound of the movement. Each of the movements was sonically distinct, but all together, the piece created an airy and extraterrestrial sound.
The final movement, “Neptune, the Mystic,” was concluded with the unexpected voices of the Smith College Choirs bringing the listener back to Earth.
The Great Woods Chamber Orchestra includes not only students from Wheaton but also community members. The orchestra creates collaboration and pushes members to perform a myriad of pieces from different traditions.
The next Great Woods Chamber Orchestra concert will be held on May 8 where they will performing the Rosa Parks symphony as well as other pieces. This concert will feature guest Daniel Bernard Roumain, an award winning hip-hop violinist and composer.