The Stony Brook University Orchestra performance in the Staller Center. In the same venue on Tuesday, Nov. 12, the orchestra performed renditions of Claude Debussy’s “Fetes” from “Trois Noctres” and Johannes Brahms’ “Symphony No. 2.” COURTESY OF STONY BROOK UNIVERSITY ORCHESTRA

On Tuesday, Nov. 12, the Stony Brook University Orchestra performed renditions of Claude Debussy’s “Fetes” from “Trois Nocturnes” and Johannes Brahms’ “Symphony No. 2” led by conductor Susan Deaver at the Staller Center for the Arts. Winner of the 2019 Stony Brook University Undergraduate Concerto Competition, Thomas Lei, was the featured soloist and he performed Aram Khachaturian’s “Concerto for Flute and Orchestra” with the orchestra. 

First on the bill was Debussy’s “Fetes.” The program reads, “Fetes opens with great energy and vibrant dancelike rhythms in quick high energetic passagework.” The orchestra was able to embody just that; their intensity was apparent from the very beginning of the movement. The music soon fell into a reduced rhythm, but the orchestra quickly picked back up before coming to a conclusion. Although the audience was small, the orchestra received applause that lasted longer than they expected.

Lei took the stage for Khachaturian’s “Concerto for Flute and Orchestra.” Although the concerto was originally written for violin, its transcription to flute by French flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal in 1968 is widely adopted. Each movement of the concerto was executed with the joy and affection that composer Khachaturian intended it to have. 

According to multiple biographies, Khachaturian “wrote music as though on a wave of happiness; my whole being was in a state of joy …” when he composed his “Violin Concerto.” 

Lei’s flute leads the way for the orchestra, a large task for an instrument so small. And yet, his talent allowed him to do this undeniably well with an aura of excitement. The second movement, specifically, “Andante Sostenuto,” was rich with a playfulness and a softness that feels authentic to the University Orchestra. 

After a quick intermission, the orchestra is back — sans-Lei — to perform four movements of “Symphony No. 2 in D Major, OP. 73” by the late Brahms. The shoes of the symphony are very big to fill, as Brahms is “considered one of the 19th century’s greatest composers and one of the leading musicians of the Romantic era.” However, the orchestra didn’t seem to falter under the weight of the challenge.

Each movement evoked a different feeling, with the final two conveying a deep energy that wasn’t there before. This energy was found within each section of the orchestra, with everyone being able to keep up with the rapid changes of pace. 

No matter what work the University Orchestra played, their passion for the music was clear. Each piece felt natural for the members, but do not mistake this for ease; it was abundantly apparent that hours of practice formed their foundation. 

Without a passion for music, it is hard to imagine how successful the orchestra could be. Jasmine Goley, a sophomore music major, is the assistant and principal second to the orchestra. When asked what her favorite musical pieces are, she directs straight to the night’s program. 

“I like all the repertoire tonight and the Khachaturian flute concerto is a personal favorite. The soloist Thomas did a really awesome job,” Goley said. “It was really amazing to see one of my favorite pieces come to fruition and be a part of it.”

Sophomore physics and music double major, Rory Lesperance, is a bassoon player for the University Orchestra. The audience for the concert made for a more personal performance. 

“It is noticeable that there isn’t a huge turnout,” Lesperance said, but he seemed to still be content no matter the size of the crowd. 

“I’m happy with who comes and it’s still nice to see people in the audience.”

The Stony Brook University Orchestra seems to be in a league of their own. One full of talent and passion that bursts much further than the campus of Stony Brook University. Don’t miss their next performance on Dec. 8 — the annual Messiah Sing-Along — at the Staller Center for the Arts at 3 p.m. 

On Tuesday, Nov. 12, the Stony Brook University Orchestra performed renditions of Claude Debussy’s “Fetes” from “Trois Nocturnes” and Johannes Brahms’ “Symphony No. 2” led by conductor Susan Deaver at the Staller Center for the Arts. Winner of the 2019 Stony Brook University Undergraduate Concerto Competition, Thomas Lei, was the featured soloist and he performed Aram Khachaturian’s “Concerto for Flute and Orchestra” with the orchestra. 

First on the bill was Debussy’s “Fetes.” The program reads, “Fetes opens with great energy and vibrant dancelike rhythms in quick high energetic passagework.” The orchestra was able to embody just that; their intensity was apparent from the very beginning of the movement. The music soon fell into a reduced rhythm, but the orchestra quickly picked back up before coming to a conclusion. Although the audience was small, the orchestra received applause that lasted longer than they expected.

Lei took the stage for Khachaturian’s “Concerto for Flute and Orchestra.” Although the concerto was originally written for violin, its transcription to flute by French flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal in 1968 is widely adopted. Each movement of the concerto was executed with the joy and affection that composer Khachaturian intended it to have. 

According to multiple biographies, Khachaturian “wrote music as though on a wave of happiness; my whole being was in a state of joy …” when he composed his “Violin Concerto.” 

Lei’s flute leads the way for the orchestra, a large task for an instrument so small. And yet, his talent allowed him to do this undeniably well with an aura of excitement. The second movement specifically, “Andante Sostenuto” was rich with a playfulness and a softness that feels authentic to the University Orchestra. 

After a quick intermission, the University Orchestra is back sans-Lei to perform four movements of “Symphony No. 2 in D Major, OP. 73” by the late Brahms. The shoes of the symphony are very big to fill, as Brahms is “considered one of the 19th century’s greatest composers and one of the leading musicians of the Romantic era.” However, the orchestra didn’t seem to falter under the weight of the challenge.

Each movement evoked a different feeling, with the final two conveying a deep energy that wasn’t there before. This energy was found within each section of the orchestra, with everyone being able to keep up with the rapid changes of pace. 

No matter what work the Stony Brook Orchestra played, their passion for the music was clear. Each piece felt natural for the members, but do not mistake this for ease; it was abundantly clear that hours of practice form their foundation. 

Without a passion for music, it is hard to imagine how successful the orchestra can be. Jasmine Goley, a sophomore music major, is the assistant and principal second to the orchestra. When asked what her favorite musical pieces are, she directs straight to the night’s program. 

“I like all the repertoire tonight and the Khachaturian flute concerto is a personal favorite. The soloist Thomas did a really awesome job,” Goley said. “It was really amazing to see one of my favorite pieces come to fruition and be a part of it.”

Rory Lesperance is a bassoon player for the University Orchestra. He is a sophomore physics and music double major. The audience for the concert made for a more personal performance.

“It is noticeable that there isn’t a huge turnout,” Lesperance said, but he seemed to still be content no matter the size of the crowd. 

“I’m happy with who comes and it’s still nice to see people in the audience.”

The Stony Brook University Orchestra seems to be in a league of their own. One full of talent and passion that bursts much further than the campus of Stony Brook University. Don’t miss their next performance on Dec. 8 — titled “‘Messiah’ Sing-Along” — at the Staller Center for the Arts at 3 p.m. 

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