On Wednesday Feb. 14, Valentine’s day, crowds filed into the Memorial Chapel at 7:50 p.m. as the University of Redlands Orchestra, with Bel Canto, Chapel Singers, University Choir and Inland Master Chorale warmed up for the rendition of Ludwig van Beethoven’s 9th symphony. At 8 p.m., the lights dimmed as the orchestra’s director, Co Nguyen, walked on to the stage.
The orchestra started the event by performing the first instrumental, “Allegro ma non troppo.” With over 50 musicians present on stage, including guest soloists Dr. Rebecca Tomlinson, Dr. Olga Perez Flora, James Flora and James Martin Schaefer, the symphony’s powerful, beautiful presence drew in everyone watching. The students gave it their all during the 14 minute long rendition.
After a strong start, the orchestra then moved to the next movement, “Molto Vivace”. Much like the first movement, the University’s orchestra demonstrated their skill and technique with every note capturing not only the essence of Ludwig van Beethoven’s masterpieces, but also the undivided attention of the audience. Community members of all ages watched with increased interest as the orchestra then segued into one of Beethoven’s most famous melodies, “Ode to Joy.”
This time joined by the members of the University Choir as well as the four guest soloists, the orchestra’s combination of numerous instruments and voices reverberated throughout the chapel. The stage sprang to life with the previously mentioned 50-plus musicians blending together their various instruments and the choir’s commanding voice.
The evening ended at 10 p.m. with audience members giving a standing ovation to the orchestra and choir. As they proceeded to exit the chapel, many left with smiling faces, marking a successful revival for the music of Ludwig van Beethoven and a historic production for the University’s orchestra.
Photo contributed by Redlands Bulldog photographer, Callie Roach.,