Geneseo Orchestra astounds

The Geneseo Symphony Orchestra concert on Sunday afternoon in Wadsworth Auditorium was "out of this world," consisting of performances like "Romanian Rhapsody," by composer George Enescu and "The Planets," by composer Gustav Holst.

As the concert began, professor James A. Walker walked onstage and shook hands with the concertmaster, junior Rebecca Lustig. He insisted that the whole orchestra, nearly 100 musicians, stand before they began to play.

A beautiful clarinet solo immediately created a soothing atmosphere for the audience. After the solo, the orchestra began playing "Romanian Rhapsody," a piece junior French Horn player Jesse Kinne described as "music as a series of dances."

Kinne, a music theory major, said that he was glad that so many freshmen had joined the orchestra this year, and that he was especially delighted to see the mass of non-music majors participating in the group. Kinne said that the cello and horn sections were nearly doubled this year, which he cited as proof of the necessity of non-music majors.

Among the regular members sat talent from outside of Geneseo, including two harpists from University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music.

Faculty members such as Linda Walton Kirkwood and James Kirkwood play amidst the students in order "to train them," as they put it. They both agreed there are many new string players this year who are bringing high quality skills to the group, and that this trend "gets better every year."

Though some members of the audience were students attending the show as part of a class requirement, they did not see the concert as an educational obligation but rather as an impressive bit of Sunday afternoon entertainment.

Freshman Liz Huss said she fully enjoyed the concert. "'Jupiter' was my favorite. 'Mars' is second. It's always 'Jupiter,' though."

Freshman David Alliger was intrigued by the hidden choir of the "Neptune" piece, which was provided by the Geneseo Carol Choristers who were able to see their conductor via a live feed from a camera positioned center stage.

Each planet inspired segment of Holst's "Planets" had something vastly different and elaborate to present to the audience. Enescu's "Romanian Rhapsody" was also an intriguing and varied arrangement.

The Geneseo Symphony Orchestra acted as a magnificent medium for expressing the emotions of both works, engaging the audience with their skilled playing and impressive stage presence.