Monday, July 23 , 2018, 1:07 am | Fair 70º

 
 
 
 
Advice

Gerald Carpenter: The Westmont Orchestra Turns 10

Now in its 10th year, the Westmont Orchestra boasts over 50 members, representing all symphonic instruments.
Now in its 10th year, the Westmont Orchestra boasts over 50 members, representing all symphonic instruments. (Westmont photo)

The Westmont Orchestra, founded 10 years ago by Dr. Michael Shasberger, Adams professor of music and worship, will celebrate their first decade with concerts at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, 2015, in Westmont’s Page Multipurpose Room and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015, at 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church.

The program begins with Westmont graduate Daniel Gee's arrangement of William Howard Doane's hymn, To God Be the Glory, followed by Antonín Dvořák's Carnival Overture, Op. 92 (1891), "Autumn," from Alexander Glazunov's ballet, The Seasons, Op. 67 (1900), and, after the intermission, the Suite from Aaron Copland's ballet, Billy the Kid (1938).

 Dvořák's Carnival Overture is an exciting and tuneful piece. He actually composed quite a few pieces of this length, calling them variously "dramatic overtures," "concert overtures" or "symphonic poems," but most have yet to be discovered by modern concert audiences.

If you like the Carnival Overture, I urge you to seek out recordings of The Golden Spinning Wheel, The Noon Witch, The Wild Dove or The Water Goblin.

 Glazunov's music, too, remains largely, like 98 percent of an iceberg, beneath the surface of concert life. He is remembered mainly for The Seasons, for his drinking and for having conducted the disastrous premiere of Rachmaninov's First Symphony.

His music, admittedly old-fashioned, is nevertheless gorgeous, and his symphonies and concertos make for very pleasant listening, as does his other major ballet, Raymonda (1898).

 Shasberger founded the Westmont Orchestra shortly after he joined the college's faculty in August 2005, although, for its first two seasons the ensemble was known as the Westmont Chamber Orchestra.

“Every anniversary has its own charm and meaning,” Shasberger says, “but somehow a decade says something about durability, permanence and establishment. We started the Westmont Orchestra as an all-student ensemble with a vision and a commitment, and now it has proven to be a contributing member of the Santa Barbara arts community.

Once it had grown to 52 student musicians, representing all the symphonic instruments, the word chamber was dropped from the name. 

"[We] began with the hope and intention to make a statement about the sophistication of Westmont’s robust commitment to the liberal arts and to excellence, and for a decade it has affirmed that intention. The orchestra began with 16 members playing for an audience of 100 and is now at full strength of about 60 members playing annually for thousands in Santa Barbara and to many more on three continents over its 10-year history. It’s thrilling to be part of that journey,” he said.

 Tickets, which cost $10 for general admission (students are free), may be purchased at the door. For more information, please contact the music department at 805.565.6040 or email [email protected].

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are his own.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >