A concert to remember

College orchestra leaves its mark on West Linn


The 2015-2016 St. Olaf College Symphony Orchestra stuns the audience during their performance. This world famous orchestra performed at West Linn high school on Oct. 16.

Travelling to China or Europe is nothing new for the St. Olaf College Symphony Orchestra and now, over 50 years since their very first tour, the St. Olaf’s Symphony Orchestra can be found almost anywhere on the globe.

“Name a country and they’ve probably performed there,” Kevin Egan, band director, said.

The 92 student symphony orchestra is based out of Northfield, Minn., but the college’s heritage is from Norway. One of St. Olaf’s major successes was being able to play in Norway to support their heritage.

On Oct. 16, St. Olaf brought their world class experience to West Linn High School and performed in the auditorium. The room was filled with WLHS students, as well as community members, who wanted to listen to a great night of music.

The concert began with a piece titled “Festive Overature” by Shostakovich, which began with a welcome from the brass and quickly but steadily crescendoed into a loud, trumpet fanfare.The trumpet fanfare was refreshing, clear and the audience was effortlessly able to imagine themselves being welcomed to a royal party. Underneath the trumpet fanfare, a swift melody played by the wind section followed and concluded by returning back to the trumpet fanfare. It was amazing how smoothly the orchestra was able to transition from mezzo-forte to fortissimo.

The orchestra also played two other pieces before the intermission, the first titled “Cello Concerto’ by Dvořák, which featured soloist Sam Viguerie, student musician. It was incredible to witness a student musician play on such a professional level. The last orchestral piece played before the intermission was “Gaia: Desecration, Lamentation and Awakening” by Daniel Kallman. The piece was about the destruction of the Earth because of the increased usage of fossil fuels. There were three clear parts of the number, each of them expressing the transformations of the Earth under global warming.

Following a brief intermission, St. Olaf took the stage once more for their final piece: Edward Elgar’s “Enigma Variations.” This piece consisted of multiple movements rather than one long number. It kept the audience hooked as it went from quiet bow plucking to full orchestra involvement. Then, just as the applause was about to start, the orchestra would come back with another attention-grabbing movement.

“I thought it was really great music,” Sheridan Hardy, sophomore, said. “It was especially incredible how one student memorized an entire cello concerto.”

Overall, it was great to see not only good musicians, but hard working students as well. We feel honored to be able to listen to this world famous orchestra in our local community in a once in a lifetime opportunity that can’t be beat. We learned, as musicians and as students, the importance and product of hard work and dedication.