UT Orchestra features noted, ‘high caliber’ works at show


Thomas Allison

Finance senior and concertmaster Darwin Weng plays the violin under the direction of conductor Tim Laughlin during the University Orchestra’s final performance of the year Tuesday evening in Bates Recital Hall.

Sylvia Butanda and Colton Pence

With the works of famed composers filling the air, listeners on campus were taken on a musical journey that led them through Rome and London.

The University Orchestra held its final concert of the school year yesterday, performing pieces from Italian composer Ottorino Respighi and English composer Sir Edward Elgar. The concert included two works from each composer, with Respighi’s “Fountains of Rome” and “Pines of Rome” as well as Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance March No. 2” and “Serenade for Strings.”

The show began with Elgar’s crowd-pleasing compositions, said Alejandro Gutiérrez, co-conductor and music director of the University Orchestra.

“The enchanting ‘Serenade for Strings’ and the pridefulness of the march by Elgar complement a great night,” Gutiérrez said.

Gutiérrez said he was particularly pleased to perform both of Respighi’s pieces because it is a rare occurrence to hear two of the composer’s pieces back-to-back.

“It is not common to program two of Respighi’s symphonic poems together,” Gutiérrez said. “Tonight [was] a great opportunity for students and faculty to appreciate two of the most famous pieces of Respighi.”

Although the majority of students in University Orchestra are not music majors, Gutiérrez said the group fosters a strong, competitive environment for music majors as well. He said the number of skilled performers who have joined University Orchestra is allowing the group to perform such high caliber works.

“The great musicianship and attitude of these students have motivated a good number of music majors to join the orchestra,” Gutiérrez said. “It allows the conductors of the orchestra to program music of very high artistic content and difficulty.”