Centre orchestra students excited about Vienna Philharmonic performance
September 23, 2010 By Abby Malik
by Gustavo Dudamel, the Centre orchestra watched from
the best seats in the College’s Newlin Hall. “The chance alone to
see this group live, even if it’s just for a rehearsal, is a blessing,”
says David Brach ’14. Photo by Gretchen Hines-Ward
Members of the Centre community, as well as the public, were
invited to attend a convocation about the Vienna Philharmonic
and Gustavo Dudamel. The event took place on Sept. 23.
The almost 50 members of Centre College’s own full orchestra were sitting front and center for the rehearsal of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra led by Gustavo Dudamel on Monday, Sept. 27. Students, faculty and staff had the privilege of attending the Monday morning rehearsal at no charge, and Centre orchestra members sat together in some of the best seats in Newlin Hall for the once-in-a-lifetime experience.
David Brach ’14, a first-year student from Perrysburg, Ohio, currently plays the cello in Centre’s orchestra, with the possibility of playing the tenor sax in the near future.
Brach says he began following the Vienna Philharmonic last year when he bought the album Holst: The Planets, on which the orchestra performs. He found the Vienna Philharmonic’s performance “to be outstanding in every way.”
“The VPO represents the best players in the world at this current time, and they also have done much to aid in the spread of music and its importance in people’s life,” Brach says. “The chance alone to see this group live, even if it’s just for a rehearsal, is a blessing because of the huge waiting list and the cost to see the orchestra perform.”
Brach says that he has some really great friends in the Centre orchestra, which made the experience even more memorable and fun because they were all sitting together in third-row seats.
“It’s nice to be able to be that close with your friends to this orchestra and just enjoy the moment,” he says.
And it just so happens that the day before the Vienna Philharmonic was Brach’s birthday.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate turning 19 than seeing the VPO live,” he says.
“This is a great opportunity for all Centre students, but it’s even more than that to the Centre Orchestra,” says Gretchen Hines-Ward, fine arts coordinator for the music and drama departments. Hines-Ward was instrumental in working with the Norton Center to obtain the excellent seats for Centre’s orchestra during the Vienna Philharmonic’s rehearsal performance. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity—to see a world-class orchestra do what the Centre Orchestra does every week, rehearsing. I thought this was an experience they should share with their conductor and their fellow musicians. It’s something they’ll never forget.”
Troy Cotton ’13, a financial economics and music double major from Louisville, plays the violin in Centre’s orchestra. Cotton has played violin for 10 years and has played in various orchestras since middle school. He’s been a fan of the Vienna Philharmonic since his passion for classical music developed.
“The VPO is important to me because they represent a standard of musicianship that most musicians would love to emulate,” Cotton says.
“To sit among my peers for this performance was a great experience,” he continues. “Because we all have the same initial love for music, it was something that we can all relate to, and it’ll hopefully bring us together as a closely knit group, as well.”
David Jaffe ’12, also of Louisville, is a music major who plays the trumpet in Centre’s orchestra.
“I've known of the Vienna Philharmonic since I began listening to classical music,” Jaffe says. “Vienna is known (historically) for having the best music in the world. As Mozart said, ‘to conquer Vienna (musically) is to conquer the world.’”
Like his fellow orchestra members, Jaffe is excited to share the Vienna Philharmonic experience with his musician colleagues.
“Sitting with the other members of the Centre Orchestra is a pleasure,” he says. “I know the people to my right and left are embracing and enjoying every second just as much as I am!”
Jaffe is most excited about seeing Dudamel conduct.
“In his recordings, he brings such energy and passion to the music. I can’t wait to see him live,” Jaffe says, who heard a story about the famous conductor.
“When Dudamel was four years old and up, he used to take all his action figures and toys and arrange them in the shape of an orchestra,” Jaffe explains. “He would then listen to the radio and conduct along with the music to his toys!”
Michael Bishop ’12 is a music education major from Dayton, Ohio, and plays trombone, tuba and euphonium in Centre’s orchestra. He was a musician in high school and is in several ensembles at Centre. He also teaches brass for marching band during the summer and fall seasons.
Bishop has followed the Vienna Philharmonic since ninth grade.
“For the longest time, Vienna was the music capital of the Western world. All of the most famous and most talented artists of the past either visited at some point or studied in Vienna with the masters of their craft,” Bishop says. “Simply because time has changed doesn’t mean that this principle still isn’t true today. There are many fantastic artists in the city of Vienna, and most of them play in the Phil. It is the premier philharmonic of the world.”
Steve Pederson, adjunct music faculty member and director of Centre’s orchestra, says for his students to be able to see and hear the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“To hear them on the same stage as you perform is very special,” Pederson says. “If the VPO had not come to the Norton Center, I think the student's chances would have been slim to ever see and hear the group in a live performance.”
Pederson continues: “Most of the world's greatest conductors have worked with this orchestra. Many of the greatest composers in Western music have written for and performed with this orchestra. And they perform with a particularly unique class and bravado. Wow! As I like to say, this could be a life changing experience.”