Symphonic Orchestra covers 'every major'

The UA Symphonic Orchestra performs at Crowder Hall

For ticket information about the UA Symphonic Orchestra's opening concert this Saturday night and Sunday, call the music hall's 24-hour hotline at 621-2998. Tickets are $3 for students and $5 for UA employees.

By Doug Cummings

Arizona Daily Wildcat

The melodious and shimmering

sound a full orchestra creates is

certainly one of the most rousing sounds one is likely to hear. The delicate flutes, piercing violins, brittle brass and thundering basses are the culmination of centuries of instrument design and experimental assembling.

Here at the UA, the School of Music offers the university community the chance to not only to enjoy the experience of symphonic concerts, but also the opportunity to perform in the concerts as well.

John Rosigno, for two years the UA Symphonic Conductor, comments, "There are (students) who don't even know there's an orchestra here on campus, string players that we don't find until halfway through the semester." The orchestra has begun to focus more on publicity, contacting newspapers and printing posters that are displayed in high schools around the state.

The UA Symphony Orchestra is the largest it's been in five years and it's currently comprised of 88 graduate and undergraduate students, 750f which are actual music majors. The remaining students come from assorted disciplines. "We basically have every major covered," Rosigno says, "The orchestra is open to anyone who's interested."

Since music is a universal language, the orchestra also offers many international students the opportunity to participate. Rosigno adds, "We have a lot of international students from countries like China, Japan, Canada, South American countries and other nations. Less than half of our musicians are actually from Arizona."

The symphony has recently begun traveling around the state as well, performing concerts in locations like the Mesa area, where many of the best string programs are offered. "Mesa is a (more affluent) area and they seem to support the arts more," Rosigno notes, "They can hire more people and build beautiful auditoriums for their high school bands."

The orchestra's encouragement of eclectic student involvement also manifests itself in another way: through the number of off-campus bands many of the musicians are a part of. "We have a lot of people who perform out of the UA," Rosigno explains, "For example, there's a band called Brenda's Never Been that features one of our violinists, Brenda, who plays the electric violin. Many of our percussionists also play in bands around town."

The symphony will be performing their opening concert of the '95/'96 concert season at Crowder Hall on campus this Saturday, September 30th. The concert will begin with Mozart's "Overture to the Abduction of Sergalio," a brief introduction from one of Mozart's most famous operas. The two main pieces of the evening will follow, Jean Sibelius' "Symphony No. 6," a serene and pastoral work, and Dmitri Shostakovich's "Symphony No. 5," a violent and intense composition written to appease the U.S. government's anti-Russian sentiments in the '50s.

"You have to make sure all of the pieces work together, but also have variety," Rosigno explains, referring to his choices for the program. "Sometimes, you might perform compositions from one composer to celebrate his birthday, but mostly you want a good variety and a combination of difficult and less difficult music.

"I would also recommend any student who thinks they may be interested in opera to check out our operatic concerts in November. Two of the concerts, Gian Carlo Menotti's "The Medium," and Douglas Moore's "Gallantry" will be performed in English. Moore's opera is a funny, comic soap-opera that many students would enjoy." In March, the symphony will perform Giacomo Puccini's "La Boheme" in its original Italian, with program notes to help English speakers understand the musical drama.

With its growing size and popularity, the UA Symphonic Orchestra promises to bring full orchestra music to the UA campus with both historical savvy and musical skill. So kick back, dim the lights and let the music begin.

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