After months of preparation, members of the ASU Symphony Orchestra will be playing together for the first time this year on Oct. 2.
Conducted by Dr. Timothy Russell, the Orchestra will be playing a variety of masterworks by three famous composers. The pieces will include “Overture of Nabucco” by Giuseppe Verdi, “Variation on a Theme of Haydn” by Johannes Brahms, and “Symphony No. In F minor” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
Every year music students must audition in order to be eligible to perform in the concerts. These auditions serve two purposes: First, they determine who is eligible to actually play in the concert, and second, they determine each member’s placement in the Orchestra.
Orchestra members practice for four hours each week, as well as individually. Before the free concert, members will have played together for a total of 16 hours.
Music Education sophomore Adam Peterson feels that the Orchestra has done a good job at preparing for the concert.
“Some concerts are more questionable than others, but for this one, I am confident,” Peterson said. “I really like Dr. Russell; he is very passionate about us, not only as people, but as musicians.
Russell, director of orchestras and a professor of music at ASU, said he chooses pieces that he thinks will be familiar to a larger audience and that will increase his student’s repertoire to prepare them for a professional music career.
“Throughout the year, we try to play a real balance of repertoire,” Russell said. “One of the greatest things about symphony orchestras is that there is so much music written and there is music from all different eras and all different styles.”
Russell has the opportunity to conduct the Phoenix Symphony about 30 or 40 times a year. He said that ASU’s Symphony Orchestra aspires to be at that level.
“I think people who come to the concerts get a really good experience,” Russell said. “We are always excited when people come to our concerts and we encourage people to not only come once, but throughout the whole year.”
Many of the students who graduate from the music school go on to play in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic, and the Phoenix Symphony.
Russell says that a large part of his job is to inspire and motivate his students to reach their highest potential and dreams.
“If music is sound, the only person not making a sound is the music conductor,” Russell said. “My job is to not only coordinate their performance, but to also try to motivate them to do their work at the highest possible level.”
The concert will be performed at ASU Gammage Hall at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.
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