Chamber Orchestra performs at Concordia University, Nebraska
2012 Dec 4Concordia University, Nebraska's Chamber Orchestra gave its first concert of the season on Sunday, Dec. 2, in the Music Center's recital hall. The orchestra, which formed last fall, has increased in size this year. The string section has doubled in size since the ensemble's first performance in October of 2011, now numbering nine stringed instruments in addition to the rest of the orchestra. "My goal for our ensemble this year is to present polished performances and explore literature for small orchestra from a variety of contrasting time periods," said Dr. Christopher Nichols, conductor of the orchestra. The concert began with Robert W. Smith's arrangement of "In the Bleak Midwinter" by Gustav Holst. Because the piece was arranged for a symphony orchestra, Nichols says he adapted the score for the lighter instrumentation of the Chamber Orchestra. Next, the ensemble presented three minuets by Giacomo Puccini, a composer known for his operas of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These pieces featured the ensemble's string section. Emily Brandt, senior, of, Loveland, Colo., and Kelly Jacob, junior, of Winnebago, Neb., performed a concerto by Georg Philipp Telemann. The concerto will set Brandt's flute and Jacob's bassoon talents against the rest of the orchestra. The piece also utilized the unique sounds of a harpsichord. In closing, the orchestra performed excerpts from Johann Sebastian Bach's "Musical Offering, BWV 1079." This piece, based on the "thema regium" or "theme of the king," according to Nichols, was composed after Bach's visit to King Frederick II in 1747. The orchestra performed several short sections from the hour-long composition.