Pixel Tracker

Friday, November 16 , 2018, 9:07 pm | Fair 54º


Westmont Chamber Orchestra Glows

Barber, Beethoven and "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" top an encore performance.

Something old, something new, and a wonderful something in-between graced the concert of Westmont College’s Chamber Orchestra  Fall Concert last weekend in the sanctuary of El Montecito Presbyterian Church.

Dr. Michael Shasberger  conducted the young musicians in a program of works by Samuel Barber, Giaochino Rossini, Ludwig Van Beethoven and J.A.C. Redford, who created a new piece specifically for this ensemble, "Great Is Thy Faithfulness."

The evening was anchored by the youthful 20th Century Barber and the Romantic Age Beethoven, with "Knoxville Summer of 1915" ending the concert’s first half, and Beethoven’s powerful Symphony No. 1 comprising the entire second half.

Barber’s evocative music for "Knoxville Summer of 1915" is set to the poem by James Agree, sung in this concert by Westmont voice instructor Celeste Tavera. She possesses a pure soprano and an exquisite gift for interpreting the poignant Agree poetry. The program reprinted Agee’s note that appears at the top of the score: "We are talking now of summer evenings in Knoxville Tennessee in the time that I lived there so successfully disguised to myself as a child." Barber dedicated the music to the memory of his own father. The flavor of the poem resounds in Agee’s plea, "May God bless my people, my uncle, my aunt, my mother, my good father."

A spiritual note was struck at the concert’s beginning with Redford’s brief new work, with words by Thomas Chisholm based on the hymn by William A. Runyan. Redford is a composer for film and television, as well as a creator of classical chamber pieces. This concert was the world premiere of "Great is Thy Faithfulness."

The young players had a lark with Rossini’s Overture for "Il Signor Bruschino." One musician friend of mine used to say Rossini was the King of the Overtures, and indeed he was. "Bruschino" is a romantic farce typical of Rossini’s operas, and the Overture captured this rowdy spirit neatly.

In presenting three of the four movements of Beethoven’s First Symphony, the orchestra proved an ideal medium for the work. We should remember that Beethoven’s music was written for orchestras the size of this young chamber group, not the great thundering professional symphonies of today.

Well done, Westmont!

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 using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, 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
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

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.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • 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.