Cornell University Orchestra Newsletter
Welcome back! A Message from our President
Tour Edition Dear CU Orchestras Friends, Family and Alumni, This winter break, the Cornell Orchestras escaped frozen Ithaca to go on tour in sunny San Juan, Puerto Rico. Working closely with the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music, the two orchestras put on a side-by-side concert featuring music of Tchaikovsky, Vaughan Williams, and Puerto Rican composer (and Cornell Professor) Roberto Sierra. When not making music, the Cornell Orchestras also explored many of the natural wonders of Puerto Rico. Side trips included a hike through El Yunque National Forest, kayaking and bike-riding in the Pinones, and of course, the beach! We hope you enjoy this special edition of the Whole Note and experience the wonders of music just as the members of the Cornell Orchestras were able to do. Thank you for all your help and support. Sincerely, Katherine Soule and Jae Baek
Whole Note Fall ‘13
The 2014 Cornell Orchestra Tour in Puerto Rico As our first official tour group outing, we took a has officially kicked off. After our group flight morning trip to the Pine Grove Beach on Isla on Monday, Verde, where we were treated with beautiful we checked weather and clear water, a welcome contrast into our hostel from the cold of Ithaca, New York. We then in Old San attended rehearsal, running through selections Juan and did of Tchaikovsky, and playing through the Sierra some light with our soloist, Matthew Ardizzone. exploration of Following rehearsal, we attended a welcome the dinner with the conservatory students at Zafra neighborhood del Caribe, which was a great chance to sit before getting down and talk to the Puerto Rican musicians a good night’s outside of rehearsal. We ended the evening rest. This with a wonderful dinner and fun conversations afternoon we before we had to reluctantly part ways for the headed to the night.
One of the highlights of the trip thus far occurred at a particular moment during our first rehearsal with Maestro Pabon. He spoke primarily in Spanish, and I could only understand bits and phrases from what I’d recalled from high school classes years ago. Nevertheless, when he spoke about the music, asking us to play “dulce” or “mas expresivo”, it was as if there was no language barrier. Everyone became one with the music, and we all responded likewise. Music is truly a universal language, and we experienced that first-hand today.” - HaeSoo Cheon Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico (Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico) for our first rehearsal with the Conservatory students and Maestro Roselin Pabón. We ran through the entirety of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus, and rehearsed selections of Sierra’s Folias. It was a great first opportunity to meet and interact with the Conservatory students, and we look forward to our next rehearsal and welcome dinner tomorrow.
Whole Note Fall ‘13
Day 3 We started the third day of tour with several hours of sectionals conducted by esteemed Puerto Rican musicians. The cellos and basses were led by Luis Miguel Rojas, the principal cellist of the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, while the violas were led by Rosa M. Sierra Gonzalez. For lunch, we enjoyed some local food before we regrouped for rehearsal with the Conservatory students. Immediately after the rehearsal, in order to avoid traffic in Old San Juan due to the Festival of Saint Sebastian, we went out to the Piñones, where we experienced more of the true local flavor of San Juan. Small groups of orchestra members went kayaking, biking, and walking along the beaches. For dinner, we all enjoyed some local food, including alcapurrias and refreshments on the beach before returning to Old San Juan where we were met with crowds of people looking to celebrate the holiday.
Day 4 This morning started with our beloved orchestra director, Chris Kim, teaching a conducting master class with two students of the Puerto Rico Conservatory. The rest of the orchestra joined Chris for rehearsal after Pellentesque: lunch, and we started off with selections of the Tchaikovsky led by the two conservatory conducting students. Afterwards, we ran through other selections of our concert pieces and ended rehearsal excited for our performance. For dinner we went to Barrachina in Old San Juan, where we were treated to delicious Puerto Rican cuisine and a spectacular flamenco show. As a group of musicians, we especially enjoyed the musical and rhythmic aspects of the dance genre combined with beautiful Consectetuer: movements. We walked back to our hostel as the streets started to become more populated with people looking to celebrate the Festival of Saint Sebastian. Tomorrow is our dress rehearsal and the concert, so we all will be getting a good night’s rest and look forward to the big day!
Whole Note Fall â€˜13
Day 5 Today was the big concert day - the orchestra members got a chance to sleep in and explore Old San Juan a little bit during the daytime before we all headed to the conservatory for our dress rehearsal. We ran through all our pieces in concert order, and it was amazing to hear how far we had come in just one week of knowing and rehearsing with each other. On behalf of the entire Cornell orchestra, our tour coordinators set up a few gifts as thanks for the people who helped make this entire tour and collaboration possible - Maestro Roselin Pabon, Elisa Torres, our soloist Matthew Ardizzone, our director Chris Kim and of course, our bus driver Roberto. Before the concert we all had dinner together and held an impromptu jam session which turned into a preconcert dance party spiced up with upbeat local Puerto Rican music, commonly called Plenas, courtesy of our conservatory friends. After dancing to songs like Santa Maria and A ti na' mas, we all quieted down and filtered onto the conservatory stage. On stage, we had a spectacular time performing Vaughan-Williams, Sierra, and Tchaikovsky for an amazing audience. It was a bittersweet moment - all our hard work was displayed in the amazing performance, and we had such a great time performing with our newly found Puerto Rican friends, but this also marked the end of our tour, an experience for which we're all truly grateful.
Day 6 On our last full day in Puerto Rico, the Cornell Orchestra took a trip out to El Yunque National Forest, a vast, beautiful rain forest in northeastern Puerto Rico. We learned all about the wonders of El Yunque and hiked a short trail to La Mina Falls. There, we swam around in the refreshing rain forest water and took pictures underneath a mesmerizing waterfall. Following the waterfall, we climbed the steps to the top of the YokahĂş tower, where we were able to take in the beauty of Puerto Rico. After returning from El Yunque, most of us spent our last night with our Puerto Rican friends in one way or another. Some of us went out to dinner and others went to an open jam session in Old San Juan together. Since the Cornell Orchestra had an early 6 am
flight the next morning, most stayed up spending our last night together before our 4 AM departure from such a wonderful week.
Whole Note Fall ‘13
New Friends in New Places By Mary Nattakom
The end of our final concert came way too quickly. Looking back, I find it incredible that we accomplished so much in just a few rehearsals. Just by watching and listening across the orchestra, we learned from each other and became better musicians. I still keep in touch with the friends I made during that week and am grateful I had the opportunity to meet such lively, cordial people in an exotic, new place. It was definitely an experience I will never forget.
Walking into my first rehearsal at the Conservatory in San Juan, I had no idea what to expect from the upcoming week. Little did I know that within a few days, I would become close friends with the new people I was about to meet. When I first talked to the students from the Conservatory, any uneasiness I had about meeting them instantly vanished. They were so friendly By Thomas Weber and welcoming! Within a few minutes of rehearsing, the two orchestras became one entity. I I can still vividly remember my first orchestra was amazed by how quickly music could audition as a freshman at Cornell. I got lost in seamlessly join two groups of people. the basement of Lincoln Hall trying to find the audition room, and As the week I was sure that my continued, we mediocre audition spent more and lack of time getting to orchestral know the experience would students in the keep me from Conservatory. getting a During our spot. When I got the email from Chris welcome dinner, we had the opportunity to talk to welcoming me to the orchestra, I was beyond many of the students and learn more about each excited for the other’s lives; by the end opportunity (I of the meal, no one think I still have wanted to leave! the email). Eight Throughout rehearsals, and a half years we continued to learn later, I’m just as from each other. The excited to play students from the with Chris and Conservatory played the CSO as I was with such passion and that day in enthusiasm that it August of 2005. inspired the whole
“I am grateful I had the opportunity to meet such lively, cordial people in an exotic, new place. It was definitely an experience I will never forget ”
orchestra and quickly changed the dynamic of the entire group.
Whole Note Fall ‘13 When Chris asked if my fiance and I could join the CSO on tour in Puerto Rico, it was an easy answer (and not just because of the prospect of escaping the polar vortex that was freezing the North East). I knew it would be an opportunity to meet other musicians and experience a different culture through the common passion for music. At the first rehearsal, we met the percussionists from the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico Alfonso, Luis, and Daniel - and instantly connected. They were eager to show us their practice facilities (with an impressive number of mallet percussion instruments) and share war stories from past concerts. They recommended things to do while in Puerto Rico, taught us to play hand percussion, and took us to their usual spot for celebratory drinks after the concert. By the end of the week, it felt like the percussion section had been playing together for years, complete with after-concert high fives and pictures of our section. One thing I heard repeatedly was how amazed musicians at the Conservatorio were to find out that the Cornell musicians were not music majors. This was something I certainly didn’t appreciate as a student - I just assumed that all college-level orchestras were as talented and dedicated. All of the students I met are excited to play in the orchestra; they reminisce about past concerts, and they passionately talk about future pieces they want to play.
6 It sounds cliche for me to tell the current members of the Cornell Orchestras to take advantage of all of the opportunities while they are students (plus it makes me feel like an old alumnus). Instead, I’ll be more specific and say: play as much music at Cornell as possible. As I’m sure other alumni can attest, it is hard to find a group as talented and dedicated as the Cornell Orchestras after leaving Ithaca (and the few that exist are dominated by professional and semiprofessional musicians). I am grateful for every opportunity that I’ve had to come back and play with the CSO, and I look forward to many more.
Orchestra Tour Although it was a trip of a lifetime, due to high costs of transportation, the orchestra budget has been greatly depleted. We are depending on your generous donations to ensure the orchestra can continue to spread music, serve the community, and participate in future tours. In order to raise money, the Cornell Orchestras have created a kickstarter project, found at the link below. In addition to watching a video on how important the Cornell Orchestras is to its members, you can help us achieve our goal of raising $6,000 by February 12th. Thank you for all your help. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/746767400/ cornell-orchestras-tour-to-puerto-rico?ref=live
Whole Note Fall ‘13
Spring 2014 Season Cornell Chamber Orchestra Cornell Symphony Orchestra
Friday, March 7, 2014, 8 pm Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor James Spinazzola, associate conductor TANIA LEON, guest composer LEON Batá (JS) LEON Kabiosile with Ryan McCullough (JS) Cornell Concerto Competition winner (CK) KORNGOLD Violin Concerto with Ji Min Yang (CK) DVORAK Cello Concerto with Daniel Cho (CK) WAGNER Flying Dutchman Overture (CK) @ Bailey Hall, Cornell University April 28 -‐ May 2, 2014 Ithaca International Conducting Masterclass VI Carl St. Clair, masterclass teacher PROKOFIEV Romeo and Juliet Suite @ Bailey Hall, Cornell University Sunday, May 4, 2014, 3 pm Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor Loren Loiacono, assistant conductor Saint-‐Saëns -‐ Samson and Delilah -‐ Bacchanale PROKOFIEV selections from Romeo and Juliet Suite 1 and 2 Montagues and Capulets, Suite II, 1 Juliet the Young Girl, Suite II, 2 Minute, Suite I, 4 Masks, Suite I, 5 Balcony Scene, Suite I, 6 Tybalt's Death, Suite I, 7 Minute, Suite I, 4 Masks, Suite I, 5 Balcony Scene, Suite I, 6 Tybalt's Death, Suite I, 7 @ Bailey Hall, Cornell University
Saturday 8 March 2014, 8 pm Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor Respighi Ancient Airs and Dances Suite No.3 JOSEPH PHIBBS: Concerto for Clarinet, Strings and Harp, with Richard Faria, clarinet @ Barnes Hall, Cornell University Saturday 3 May 2014, 8 pm Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor Malcolm Bilson, harpsichord David Yearsley, harpsichord Ray Li New work TBA utilizing “Aura” BACH Double Concerto in C Major Repertoire TBA @ Barnes Hall, Cornell University www.arts.cornell.edu/orchestra
Cornell University Orchestra Newsletter
Governing Board 2013-2014
Tim Joo Fundraising Chair
The Cornell Symphony Orchestra is one of the highest caliber musical groups on the Cornell Jamie Lee campus. The group's members are drawn from all Vice President circles of Cornell life, including undergraduate students, graduate students, and members of the Paul Hwang Ithaca community. Under the direction of Chris Secretary Younghoon Kim, the Cornell Symphony Orchestra continuously strives to present the best works of Max Hanson contemporary composers as well as compositions Alumni Relations by established musical figures.
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The Cornell Chamber Orchestra is an orchestra of 27 musicians, comprising students from all colleges on campus. Acceptance into the orchestra is by audition only. The Chamber Orchestra performs a wide variety of works from the 18th century to present time, written expressly for the intimate setting of a smaller chamber orchestra. The Chamber Orchestra rehearses in Barnes Hall and Like us on Facebook! facebook.com/cornellorchestras
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Read about our collaboration with the Conservatorio de Musica de Puerto Rico in January 2014