Winter Concert II Recap

wc1Thursday’s Winter Concert was simply outstanding. Veteran students performed some of the most challenging music we’ve yet heard from a Conservatory Lab ensemble, and our new students showed off their impressive chops after having only played their instruments for a few months!

The Heifetz/Casals Ensemble, comprised entirely of students in grades 4-7 who are new to Conservatory Lab this year, started the concert off with two pieces that have become standards: Gustav Mahler’s D minor theme from his1st Symphony, and Beethoven’s Ode to Joy theme from his 9th Symphony. To show off the extent of their progress as a new orchestra this semester, they performed these pieces without the help of a conductor!

wc2The 4th-6th grade students of the Abbado Orchestra followed Heifetz/Casals with an energetically charged Conservatory Lab favorite, Dragonhunter, as well as a more subdued, melodic piece entitled Rigaudon. In both of these pieces, the Abbado musicians demonstrated strong technical prowess on their instruments as well as the ability to illustrate a variety of different emotions through their playing.

The middle school winds musicians of the Ives Ensemble wowed listeners with their energy, enthusiasm, and big sound. The musicians of Ives are also relatively new to our school, and have only been playing their instruments since last September. The quality of their performance yesterday is indicative of both the amount of dedication showed by the Ives musicians this past year, as well as the fun they have been having throughout the learning process.

wc4The Dudamel Orchestra finished the concert with some of the most demanding repertoire ever played by a Conservatory Lab orchestra: Dusk, a beautiful piece that requires a very delicate touch and the ability to slowly transform quiet sounds and textures into overwhelming orchestral crescendos; Take Five, a jazz standard by Dave Brubeck with fast, tricky rhythms in a 5/4 time signature; and music from Pirates of the Caribbean, which similarly has a heavy emphasis on fast, rhythmically challenging melodies for all instruments. Musicians from the 2nd and 3rd grade Bernstein Orchestra also made a guest appearance with Dudamel, singing the popular African hymn, Siyahamba.

We could not be any more proud of the students for their truly remarkable performances in Winter Concerts I & II, and we eagerly await their next opportunity to perform for the community in the Spring Fling!