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Westminster Symphony Orchestra's May 5 concert to feature old, new, borrowed, blue

The Westminster Symphony Orchestra — made up of McDaniel College students, Carroll Community College students, faculty and community members — will present its spring concert at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 5, at Carroll Community College's Theater in the Scott Center.
The Westminster Symphony Orchestra — made up of McDaniel College students, Carroll Community College students, faculty and community members — will present its spring concert at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 5, at Carroll Community College's Theater in the Scott Center. (Courtesy photo)

The Westminster Symphony Orchestra's annual free spring concert, set for 3 p.m. Saturday, May 5 at Carroll Community College, is titled, "Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue."

"It's a nod to the wedding season," said Cindy Rosenberg, a cellist and faculty member at Carroll Community College as well as the assistant director of the WSO.

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The orchestra is made up of students from both McDaniel College and Carroll Community College, as well as community musicians, and is under the direction of Linda Kirkpatrick, director of Instrumental Music Studies at McDaniel.

"Keep an open mind," Kirkpatrick said. "You're going to be hearing some music you might hear at a pops concert. Like 'Star Wars.' There will be a little bit of everything so there should be something for everyone that shows up."

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As for the old, new, borrowed and blue concept? That has to do with the musical selections from various periods, as explained in the joint news release sent out by the colleges.

  • The Sinfonia in Bb by Johann Christian Bach (the 11th and youngest child of Johann Sebastian Bach), who lived from 1735–1782 certainly counts as an “old” piece, but it also counts as “borrowed”; he took some material from an earlier composition and repurposed it into the Sinfonia.
  • Edvard Grieg, who lived from 1843–1907, would not have been considered old by Johann Christian Bach, but to us this is definitely included in the “old” category. Grieg borrowed his own material that he had written for Isben’s play “Peer Gynt,” and reworked it into two suites for orchestra.
  • If Bach and Grieg could had a conversation, they would both agree that John William’s music from Star Wars definitely counts as modern, or “new”, for the purposes of thetheme.
  • The “Blue Tango,” by Leroy Anderson, was a number one hit in 1951, juxtaposing a charismatic melody over a traditional tango pulse.

Harpist Peter Stigdon, a homeschooled 11th-grader who will perform "Danse Sacrée et Danse Profane" by Claude Debussy, is the feature soloist.

Peter Stigdon, an 11th-grader, will be the featured soloist when the Westminster Symphony Orchestra performs its annual spring concert at Carroll Community College on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 3 p.m.- Original Credit: Tania Grab Photography
Peter Stigdon, an 11th-grader, will be the featured soloist when the Westminster Symphony Orchestra performs its annual spring concert at Carroll Community College on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 3 p.m.- Original Credit: Tania Grab Photography (Tania Grab Photography)

"He's incredible," Kirkpatrick said of Stigdon. "The orchestra was just entranced the first time he played. You could hear a pin drop."

Through an interview with Rosenberg, Stigdon said he is a Carroll native who has been playing harp for five years.

"I first noticed the harp when I was at the Maryland Association of Christian Home Educators homeschool convention in Frederick. There was a woman there with a harp set up, and it piqued my interest. That next Christmas, I received a small, 20-string harp, and I've been playing ever since," said Stigdon, noting that he also plays the piano and sings.

Stigdon, who has performed with the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestra, is graduating high school early and plans to attend Concordia College in Chicago to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a certification as a Director of Parish Music.

He said he has studied with only one teacher, Elaine Bryant, and he practices about an hour per day.

"Something that has really helped me progress is to always have something to prepare for," he said. "Whether it's a competition or audition, having a deadline to learn music by is a great motivator."

The deadline for all of the Westminster Symphony Orchestra members to get ready for the spring concert on Saturday is fast approaching. While everyone has wildly varying schedules, they've done their best to work individually and then get together on Tuesdays to rehearse the performance.

"It's about cooperation. People at different playing levels all coming together to produce music," Kirkpatrick said.

That cooperation extends to the director and assistant director.

The Westminster Symphony Orchestra is shown performing in 2016. The WSO presents its spring concert on Saturday, May 5 at 3 p.m. at Carroll Community College's Theater in the Scott Center.
The Westminster Symphony Orchestra is shown performing in 2016. The WSO presents its spring concert on Saturday, May 5 at 3 p.m. at Carroll Community College's Theater in the Scott Center. (Jim Bigwood photo)

"She doesn't always know what to say to the strings and I don't always know what to say to the winds," Rosenberg said of her and Kirkpatrick. "It works out well."

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McDaniel looks at the WSO as a recruting tool, Kirkpatrick said, and Rosenberg noted that they would like to see it grow.

"The Westminster Symphony Orchestra provides a unique opportunity to area musicians and audiences by allowing them to receive the full orchestral experience close to home," Carroll Community College Director of Music Eric McCullough said in a prepared statement. "The collaboration between the two colleges is important, as it provides both students and audiences with an exceptional concert."

Both Kirkpatrick and Rosenberg are hopeful there will be a nice turnout on Saturday to see a blending of musicians from two colleges as well as from other backgrounds.

"For the community, which doesn't always get to go to such events, it's very nice," Rosenberg said, calling it both short and accessible.

Said Kirkpatrick: "It's going to be terrific."

For more information, call the Carroll Community College Fine and Performing Arts department at 410-386-8575. The roster of WSO members is as follows: McDaniel students: Ethan Brown, Fabiola Castillo, Nicholas Cummings, Thomas Fonda, Ryan Grant, Alec Hedstrom, Clayton Herbst, Matt Hopson, Kyle McAllister, Michael Nepini, Andrew Pyne, Reaiah Rutherford, Brandon Schlichtig. McDaniel Music faculty: Lynne Griffith, Nick Reider, Rachel Andrews, David Motter, Nicholas Currie, Alice Tung, Lynn Fleming, Rob Sirois. McDaniel Community: Travis Fuller, Joey Andrews, Chance Caprarola. Carroll Music faculty: Cindy Rosenberg, assistant director. Carroll student: Gregory DeGroff. Carroll County Public School students: Ashley Edwards, J.P. Neubert, Brandon Lauffer. McDaniel Alumni: Betsy Meade, Alan Lyons. Additional Musicians: Peter Stigdon ,Christina Cook, Michael Polonchak, Mark Klein, Gracie McNeal, Carolyn Taylor, Sarah Zimmerman, Kathleen Bromelow, Jennifer Hoff, David Shumway, Eddie Hermoso, Jeff Baker, Natica Losee, Frank Taylor, Kevin Solomowitz, Barbara Bowen, Deborah Seidel, Bobbi Little.

The Westminster Symphony Orchestra rehearses. The WSO, made up of McDaniel College students, Carroll Community College students, faculty and community members, presents its spring concert on Saturday, May 5 at 3 p.m. at Carroll Community College's Theater in the Scott Center.
The Westminster Symphony Orchestra rehearses. The WSO, made up of McDaniel College students, Carroll Community College students, faculty and community members, presents its spring concert on Saturday, May 5 at 3 p.m. at Carroll Community College's Theater in the Scott Center. (Courtesy photo)

If you go

When: 3 p.m. Saturday, May 5.

Where: Theater at the Scott Center, Carroll Community College, Westminster

Cost: Free



bob.blubaugh@carrollcountytimes.com

410-857-7879

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