The Fordian

Haverford String Ensemble Attends the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Rehearsal for the Barnes/Stokowski Festival

Haverford+High+School%27s+String+Ensemble+poses+in+front+of+the+Kimmel+Center+in+Center+City%2C+Philadelphia.++
Haverford High School's String Ensemble poses in front of the Kimmel Center in Center City, Philadelphia.

Haverford High School's String Ensemble poses in front of the Kimmel Center in Center City, Philadelphia.

Haverford High School's String Ensemble poses in front of the Kimmel Center in Center City, Philadelphia.

Gina Ngo, Editor-in-Chief

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






 
Share Button

The world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra offered a unique opportunity for Haverford High School’s String Ensemble to attend their open rehearsal on Thursday, October 4, during their two-week Barnes/Stokowski Festival at the Kimmel Center in Center City, Philadelphia.  

As the ensemble attended the open rehearsal for the second time within a five month period, students were able to enjoy the contrasting repertoire, this time with actors rehearsing on stage to depict the story of two innovators in art and music during the early 20th century.  String Ensemble members got the opportunity to absorb the historical culture of the arts portrayed through a variety of music with a broad range of dynamics and acting.

Dr. Albert C. Barnes, a former resident of Philadelphia, founded the Barnes Foundation in 1922 to advocate education in contemporary art and display his collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings – some of which included African sculpture and horticulture – from various artists overseas.  

Leopold Stokowski, director of the Philadelphia Orchestra during the early 20th century, expanded the orchestra and presented new interpretations of music within his conducted performances.  Both Barnes and Stokowski supported one another’s performances or art galleries by being frequent attendees and exchanging letters about modern art or music. Barnes and Stokowski’s relationship was portrayed through a theatrical performance during brief intermissions of the orchestra’s music.  

The Philadelphia Orchestra, led by Principal Guest Conductor Stéphane Denève, kicked off their rehearsal with The Creation of the World, a ballet composed in 1923 by Frenchman Darius Milhaud, who became inspired by American jazz during his visit to Harlem, New York City.  The performance consisted of five components – Chaos before Creation, Lifting Darkness and Creation of Trees, Plants, Insects, Birds, and Beasts, Man and Woman are Created, The Desire of Man and Woman, and The Kiss – which illustrated a sequence of romance build-up.  The art sketches that corresponded to the music were displayed on screens, which were unique elements that enhanced the nature of the performance.   

An uncommon opportunity the String Ensemble had the privilege to enjoy was listening to Francis Poulenc’s Organ Concerto.  Even more enticing was the on-screen display of the organist Peter Richard Conte’s impeccable movements of the hand and feet on the keys while playing the instrument effortlessly.  

A cellist in the String Ensemble, Pearl Park remarked, “It never occurred to me how different the organ was from the piano.  That is, the sound frequency and the amount of effort and practice it must have taken to master the precision on the keys of the organ”.  

The String Ensemble concurred in attending this particular open rehearsal of the Philadelphia Orchestra primarily because of the finale piece on their program, The Rite of Spring, a ballet piece composed by Igor Stravinsky, and introduced to Philadelphia in the early 1920s by Stokowski.  Not only was this piece special because it commemorated the nearly century-old anniversary of its premier, but also because the String Ensemble performed an abridged version of it in 2017-18.  

“Hearing The Rite of Spring  from the professionals was amazing,” Park said. “ I loved watching the synchronized bow movements and the amount of crescendo and decrescendo in the piece.”   

A bass player of the String Ensemble, Oli Horyn reflected on her experience.

“The performance was completely unpredictable.  As compared to Pines of Rome, which was a relatively linear piece, the build-up to the final moment when the brass played out over the edges of the levels in Verizon Hall was where all the goosebumps had been set aside for,” Horyn said. She added, “The Rite of Spring would transition from peaceful soft strings and woodwinds to fortissimo percussion and low brass in a split second.  Although I have seen this before in concert, I still got the chills when I listened to the numerous quick jumps of dynamics.”

String Ensemble Conductor, Mr. Brennan’s popular saying, “Be the duck on the pond”, was manifested in the Philadelphia Orchestra’s performance.  Similar to the image of a duck gliding naturally through a pond but with their hidden feet kicking arduously beneath the water, the musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra made playing their instruments appear simple on the surface, when in reality, they rehearsed strenuously to perfect every rhythm and note.

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s performance has once again made the members of the String Ensemble speechless.  The pieces they heard were a sharp contrast to those they heard in the last open rehearsal. The fact that the all of the repertoire were written around the same time period, but differ greatly in tone, dynamics, and background, makes each of them unique in their own right.  The synchronization of hand movement, immaculate rhythm, professionalism, and high level of musicianship among the nearly 100 musicians in the orchestra, magnifies String Ensemble members’ love for music and inspires them to aim high in their musical endeavors.

 

Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

Comments are encouraged but are expected to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of personal attacks, or profane or libelous language. The Fordian does not allow anonymous comments and a valid email address is required to comment. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




*

Navigate Left
  • Haverford String Ensemble Attends the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Rehearsal for the Barnes/Stokowski Festival

    News

    Young Women Share Their Views on Sexy Halloween Costumes in Fishbowl Discussion

  • Haverford String Ensemble Attends the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Rehearsal for the Barnes/Stokowski Festival

    News

    Haverford Science Academy Hosts DISCOVER Day

  • Haverford String Ensemble Attends the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Rehearsal for the Barnes/Stokowski Festival

    News

    Interact Club Members Participate in 32nd Annual AIDS Walk Philly

  • Haverford String Ensemble Attends the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Rehearsal for the Barnes/Stokowski Festival

    News

    Post-Secondary Plans for the Class of 2018

  • Haverford String Ensemble Attends the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Rehearsal for the Barnes/Stokowski Festival

    News

    Science Academy Brings STEM to Local Children

  • Haverford String Ensemble Attends the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Rehearsal for the Barnes/Stokowski Festival

    News

    A Month After the Walkout and Haverford is Still Marching

  • Haverford String Ensemble Attends the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Rehearsal for the Barnes/Stokowski Festival

    News

    Students Lead National Movement to End Gun Violence

  • Haverford String Ensemble Attends the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Rehearsal for the Barnes/Stokowski Festival

    News

    Pep Rally Spreads School Spirit

  • Haverford String Ensemble Attends the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Rehearsal for the Barnes/Stokowski Festival

    News

    Seniors Get Spooky with Halloween Carnival

  • Haverford String Ensemble Attends the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Rehearsal for the Barnes/Stokowski Festival

    News

    Haverford Chorus Goes Nuts!

Navigate Right
The Official Online Newspaper of the Haverford High School
Haverford String Ensemble Attends the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Rehearsal for the Barnes/Stokowski Festival