Geneseo Symphony Orchestra performs with Rochester Philharmonic guests

The Geneseo Symphony Orchestra performed on Sunday Oct. 20 in Wadsworth Auditorium, expertly blending the sounds of its instruments to emphasize two talented guest artists. Under the instruction of adjunct faculty member in music Jim Tiller, the Geneseo Symphony Orchestra delivered three pieces, with guest appearances from President Christopher Dahl and Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra assistant concertmaster Shannon Nance.

The orchestra first performed “Lincoln Portrait” by Aaron Copland. After the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, Copland was instructed to write a piece that would boost American morale. Inspired by the greatness of former President Abraham Lincoln as an orator, Copland included a narration in his piece.

Dahl performed the narration for this piece, adding a new and interesting element to the orchestra's performance. He began the narration partway through the piece, and as he spoke, the orchestra continued playing, building intensity within the narration.

“I've never seen an orchestra perform a piece with a narrator before, so that was really exciting and I enjoyed it,” sophomore Miranda Magley said. “It's interesting to see our school's president in a new light.”

Nance joined the orchestra for its second piece, performing a violin solo in Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 14 by Samuel Barber. Nance stood out against the orchestra's all-black attire, emerging in a deep red ball gown. Wowing the audience, Nance received a standing ovation and an encore for a second bow.

After a brief intermission, the orchestra returned to the stage, finishing the show with one final piece, Symphony No. 2, “Romantic,” Op. 30 by Howard Hanson, which was performed in three parts.

The Geneseo Symphony Orchestra will perform again on Nov. 24 in Wadsworth Auditorium alongside Festival Chorus, Geneseo Chamber Singers and Spectrum Women's Ensemble.