GFU Music Department Delights for Family Weekend

Reported by Ana Imes

The Family Weekend Fall Showcase took place on Oct. 19 in George Fox University’s (GFU) Bauman Auditorium. Among the groups performing were Symphonic Band, Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Concert Choir, Women’s Chorale and Chamber Singers.

Danielle Warner directed the three choral groups and the Symphony Orchestra. Her vision for the night was for “the audience to leave with a sense of the music department and a sense of George Fox,” she said.

A few pieces that she directed were “Serenade in C Major, Op. 48” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, which she described as “heartbreaking and beautiful,” “Nyon Nyon” by Jake Runestad, which consists of only nonsense syllables, and “Invictus” by Joshua Rist, a powerful piece traditionally sung by men but performed by the women’s chorale at the concert.

Dwayne Corbin directed the Symphonic Band, which consists of 45 members that are primarily non-music majors. The band delivered a timely performance of “October” by Eric Whitacre, described by Corbin as a “gorgeous, mellow fantasy” about “the feelings and sensations of the fall,” as well as “An Original Suite” by Gordon Jacob, one of the first pieces written for a band.

Photo by Alyssa Minar

Photo by Alyssa Minar

The lively first and third movements sandwich a “slow and reflective” second movement that “gets quite dramatic -- almost film score intense.” Dr. Corbin was excited to provide what was a “preview of what will come later in the semester,” he said.

Rebekah Hansen directs the strings in the music department, including the Chamber Orchestra. She also co-directs the Symphony Orchestra. Hansen said that the showcase provides a great opportunity for students to “show all the work they’re doing and how much they love it.” The Chamber Orchestra, made up of nine people, performed the Winter segment of Antonio Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” featuring Comfort Smith on an impressive violin solo.

If you missed the Showcase, or if you liked what you heard, the next concert is at 7 p.m. on Nov. 1 by the Symphony Orchestra, Concert Choir and Masters Chorus (a community group also directed by Warner). The two choral groups will sing a combined Mozart piece, followed by Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade of Strings,” played by the orchestra. Following a few days later is the Jazz Band concert on Nov. 4 and a combined performance by Women’s Chorale, Chamber Singers, Chamber Orchestra and the Keyboard Ensemble on Nov. 8. Lastly, the Symphonic Band will hold a concert on Nov. 15.

Each of the directors emphasized that they are open for new members at the start of spring semester. If you or someone you know plays the clarinet, speak to Dwayne Corbin, who is in need of more clarinets in the Symphonic Band.

Jessica DaughertyComment