Northside’s Annual Spring Concert: A Great Show Despite Bad Weather
By Anahi Anaya
Northside’s Orchestra has worked hard to prepare for IHSA competitions, concerts, and other important events. It hosted its annual Spring Orchestra Concert on Apr. 30, where soloists, Chamber, and Symphonic strings presented a wide range of pieces. The spectacle was held in the school auditorium, which was jam-packed with families and friends ready to see the long-awaited performance. Tickets were five dollars, but children ages 12 and below could enter for free. Although the recent bad weather had lowered audience morale, the performers were prepared to lighten them up through their melodies.
As the lights dimmed to announce the beginning of the show, the crowd grew silent and Mr. Leo Park, Music Department Chair, made his way across the stage. He took the opportunity to inform the audience of Northside’s recent success at the IHSA Orchestra Competition, with it landing first place in the state. Performers from the IHSA competition prepared to play their pieces again for the concert and the crowd was ready to witness the talent that led to Northside’s win.
To begin, the violin duo Thomas Cademcian, Adv. 205, and Elizabeth Park, Adv. 202, played the prelude of “Praeludium” by Dmitri Shostakovich. It was a strong start and the crowd was clearly impressed by the Freshmen. Following the duet was a cello trio that consisted of Brian Blanco, Adv. 907, Justin Chang Stauffer, Adv. 102, and Aaron Mui, Adv. 104. The cellists played Felix Battauchon’s “Trio No.2”, a complicated and lengthy piece that they executed splendidly. After, soloist Park took the stage again to perform “Sonata in G Minor” by J.S. Bach. Her nervousness was clear to the audience but Park played the piece with ease, closing her eyes every once in a while and changing positions to get comfortable.
The violas finally had their time to shine when through the performance of Gabriel Faure’s “Pavane” by Jonathan Alday, Adv. 105, Daniel Claud, Adv. 911, and Stanislaw Gunkel, Adv. 902. The array of sounds was a great follow-up and change from the solo before. Next, the string quartet made up of Julia Carlson, Adv. 005, Claud, Mui, and Katherine Sawin, Adv. 003, played a section of “Quartet No. 4 in C Minor” by music legend Ludwig van Beethoven. Following was another solo by violinist Cademcian, who was assisted by his father on the piano. The duo played “Symphonie Espagnole” by Edouard Lalo and the father-son performance was both heart-touching and refreshing to see. To conclude the small ensemble performances, a piano quartet led by pianist Lauren Kim, Adv. 905, played a section of Felix Mendelssohn’s “Piano Quartet No. 1”.She was accompanied by cellist Stauffer, violist Gunkel, and violinist Gyury Lee, Adv. 001.
Finally, the symphonic strings played “Brandenburg Concerto No. 5” by J.S. Bach. The abundance of instruments made for stronger sounds and a variety of melodies that captivated all audiences alike. The chamber strings then played their rendition of “Sonata No. 10” by Johann Rosenmuller. Next, they played “Allegro assai” from “Divertimento” for Strings by Bela Bartok. Soloists Cademcian, Stauffer, Gunkel, and Lee once again got their time to shine. Symphonic strings performed “Open Lands”, “Lake Brave”, and “The Hunt” by William Hofeldt. For the chamber strings’ last performance, the ensemble played “Orion and the Scorpion” by Soon Hee Newbold, with cellist Stauffer as soloist again. Finally, symphonic strings played “Coiled!” by Bert Lignon, a powerful conclusion to a long and amazing concert.
All the members of intermediate strings, concert strings, and chamber strings worked really hard to entertain and impress the audience. After months of preparation, they managed to pull of a great performance for the long-awaited evening. During this time of confusing weather and immense stress, the concert was a great way to let loose and have fun. The performers and music department are currently hard at work for the upcoming Cadence Concert, which is sure to be just as great a spectacle.