TU Symphony Orchestra starts off Homecoming on a good note

TU School of Music hosted a beautiful Symphony Orchestra performance Monday night.
Homecoming is one of the widely celebrated traditions at The University of Tulsa, which welcomes alumni and former members of the university. This year’s homecoming celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Class of 1998. Homecoming Week fulfilled its promise of having a vibrant array of events designed to thrill attendees. Notable highlights included the spirited Raging Cane, the creative Street Painting contest and the time-honored Bonfire Building event.

The Homecoming Week array of events kicked off with a concert performed by the TU Symphony Orchestra on Monday, Oct. 30 in the Herbert and Roseline Gussman Concert Hall at The Roxana Rózsa and Robert Eugene Lorton Performance Center. Under the expert guidance of Professor Richard Wagner, the director of the School of Music, the orchestra delivered a captivating performance featuring a repertoire of seven classical pieces spanning the 18th and 19th centuries.

As concert attendees filled the Gussman Concert Hall, they were provided with a concert program that included a comprehensive list of the pieces to be performed by the orchestra, as well as a detailed calendar of events hosted by TU’s School of Music. To enhance the audience’s connection with the orchestra’s talented members, the program also featured a complete roster, allowing attendees to gain insight into the diverse range of majors and academic backgrounds represented within the ensemble. Wagner believed that this additional information would foster a deeper appreciation for the orchestra’s talented musicians and their unique contributions to the performance.

The concert opened with an energetic display of the “Ruslan and Lyudmila Overture,” an opera in five acts originally composed by Russian composer Mikhail Glinka between 1837 and 1842. After this exhilarating piece, Wagner extended a warm welcome to the audience, setting the stage for the introduction of guest conductor, Joshua Lowery. Lowery, a distinguished alumnus of TU’s School of Music and currently an adjunct instructor at TU, then graced the stage and skillfully led the ensemble through Variations on a Shaker Melody from Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring.

The concert continued as Wagner returned to the stage to guide the audience through the remaining segments of the performance. The next piece, or rather pieces, on the program was the orchestral suite from Pelléas and Mélisande, “Op. 80.” This suite, inspired by a play that delves into the poignant love story of the titular characters, comprises four movements. The suite commenced with Prélude and continued with the second movement, Fileuse, and third movement, Sicilienne, before ending with a sorrowful serenade of Mort de Melissande.

The grand finale of the evening featured “The Wasps (Overture),” an incidental masterpiece composed by the renowned British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams in 1909. As the final notes resonated through the hall, the audience responded with thunderous applause, showing their appreciation for the orchestra’s captivating performance. The attendees eagerly looked forward to the remaining events of Homecoming Week, which promised to be a memorable experience. This performance marked the TU Symphony Orchestra’s last concert for 2023, with their next one scheduled for Feb. 12.

Post Author: Aiman Akmal Hizam