UMass Orchestra Report

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University of Massachusetts Amherst
David Gross

Corey Reed Music 150 UMassAmherst University Orchestra I attended my first ever classical music performance on November 26 in the FineArts Center Concert Hall here at The University of Massachusetts Amherst. The group performing was the UMass Amherst University Orchestra with a guest conductor Tian Hui Ng. Mr. Ng is a music director for both the Orchestra of the East Indies in Singapore and the Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra here in the United States, and has had an illustrious career. In preparation for this performance I looked over my notes from the lecture concerning classical music in order to refresh my memory of important terms, and also watched a short YouTube video of the University Orchestra in one of its past performances. My first impression of the atmosphere outside of the Concert Hall was that it seemed very lively and energetic. There were groups of people milling around in the foyer, everyone seemed excited to be there, people seemed talkative and happy. It gave an overall good feeling, I felt excited to be attending the performance. The atmosphere inside the Concert Hall still had an energetic feeling, but more subdued as if a storm was gathering. An observation that I made was the quality of dress of most people attending, which gave the event a high-class feel. The stage inside the Concert Hall is a proscenium stage and the instruments were set in an arc surrounding the conductor’s stage facing the audience. The performance itself was excellent, with perfect execution on the part of musicians and conductor, high sound quality, and an entertaining set. The first piece performed was an overture to Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi, an Italian Romantic composer. The most notable element of this song was the dynamic change felt throughout.An opening of horns brought the feeling of a king entering his palace, slow rolling horns accompanying his entry. The horns continue on for a moment, when suddenly a burst of sound rings forth, violins excitedly talking and a drumroll signaling the cheering of a crowd. The sudden change from a quiet, almost subdued feeling to an excited, jubilant feeling was caused by the quick shift from soft horn to loud sound from the entire ensemble
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