A spring symphony

The University Symphony Orchestra spring concert featured the talents of students and faculty alike

More stories from Madeline Peterson


Photo by Kar Wei Cheng

The orchestra, under the direction of conductor Nobuyoshi Yasuda, performed the works of composers Ludwig van Beethoven and Antonín Dvořák.

Last Sunday, the University Symphony Orchestra showcased the musical abilities of faculty and students in their annual spring concert. The orchestra, conducted by Nobuyoshi Yasuda, performed pieces by renowned composers Ludwig van Beethoven and Antonín Dvořák.

The first piece performed was “Concerto for Piano, Violin, Cello and Orchestra in C major, Opus 56” by Beethoven. In addition to the student orchestra, the piece also featured Nicholas Phillips, Marc Levine and Tulio Rondón on piano, violin and violoncello respectively. Rondón and Phillips are currently music professors at UW-Eau Claire, while Levine is based out of Minnesota.

“I wanted to feature faculty talents as well as student talents so that everyone could see how great (the faculty) is, too,” Yasuda said.
Yasuda said the orchestra had waited to begin practicing for the concert until recently because of their performance at the Viennese Ball only one week prior. Despite the stress of having to prepare for performances two consecutive weekends in a row, Yasuda said he was pleased with the communication and energy portrayed at the concert.

“The orchestra was able to feel comfortable with the notes and communicate with others in their section,” Yasuda said, “I wanted them to pour out their energy and really perform.”

First-year viola performance major Corissa Knecht said she was also pleased with the communication displayed at the concert, especially because they were performing with soloists whom they hadn’t usually played with.

“It was an adjustment, and we wanted to make the most out of our time with (the soloists),” Knecht said.

For the second half of the concert, the orchestra performed “Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88” by Czech composer Antonín Dvořák. Yasuda said he chose this piece due to its compelling melodic movement.

Junior violin performance major Anne Schreiber, the principal violinist in the Violin I section of the orchestra, said the Dvořák symphony was her favorite piece performed at the concert because of the complexities within.

“The piece had a lot of very climactic points where all the string instruments were playing together,” Schreiber said, “it was very showy for the string section.”

Schreiber said she and the other section leaders made up for their limited practice time by getting together outside of class with their fellow musicians, and also by doing additional practice individually.

Since the beginning of the year, Schreiber said she’s seen the orchestra grow closer, and believes this sense of community and togetherness was on display during the performance.

“We all blend (our sound) together better, there’s more of a sense of community and collaboration,” Schreiber said, “It’s just easier to have fun with the music now.”

The orchestra will continue practicing through the end of the semester as they prepare for their final performance with the UW-Eau Claire Symphonic Choir in two weeks. Yasuda said that although they’ve had a busy term, it’s been worth it for the experience of performing live.

“There’s so much spontaneity and emotion in live performances,” Yasuda said, “Imagination cannot be substituted, and my students feel that.”