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ISSUE 117 VOL 19 PUBLISHED 5/14/2004

Senior soloists play goodbye

By Carl Schroeder
Staff Writer

Friday, May 14, 2004

A warm spring afternoon in Skoglund Auditorium was the setting for the St. Olaf Orchestras May 9 Senior Soloists Concert, which showcased the talent of eight musicians  seven students and a Professor  whose time at the Hill is nearing an end.

The two-hour concert, conducted by Music Professor Steven Amundson, opened with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozarts festive 1791 opera prelude Overture to La Clemenza di Tito, a typically brilliant work from one of historys most famous composers.

Next, the 91-member orchestra moved to a piece written exactly two centuries later, The Thief of Time by Music Professor Peter Hamlin. Hamlin recently accepted a faculty position at his alma mater, Vermonts Middlebury College.

To open the soloist portion of the program, Allison Hall 04, performed the third movement of Johann Hummels Trumpet Concerto in E-flat Major, composed in 1804. She confronted the works bold, militaristic fanfares and rapid chromatic passages with brassy confidence and technical finesse.

It was a huge honor to play with such a talented group of musicians, Hall said.

The next soloist, Sarah Hoffman 04, performed a vocal solo from French composer Charles-Francois Gounods 1867 opera Romeo et Juliette.

Cameo Haaskma 04 and Amanda Wessel 04 then took center stage for a rendition of movement three from the 1932 Concerto in D Minor for Two Pianos and Orchestra by French composer Francis Poulenc. Haaskma and Wessel traded sparkling piano passages throughout this diverse work.

It was fun to have somebody to share the spotlight with on stage, Haaskma said.

After a brief intermission, the program continued with Karissa Swanson 04 performing a movement from another 1930s French piano concerto, the Piano Concerto in G Major by Maurice Ravel. Swanson displayed considerable technical range in this colorfully orchestrated work, which freely interchanged classical and jazz elements.

The next piece, movement two from Czech composer Antonin Dvoraks 1895 Cello Concerto in B minor, featured Jeremy Glen 04. Glens lyrical rendition of the slow, poignant cello lines provided an emotional core for the predominantly up-tempo concert.

The concerts final soloist was Andrea Cianflone 04, whose vocal talents were showcased in an excerpt from Vincenzo Bellinis 1831 opera La Sonnambula.

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