While the world outside experienced a torrential downpour severe enough to prompt a flash flood warning, the audience inside the Wright Center Auditorium enjoyed the sounds of classic orchestral arrangements as the Samford Orchestra’s assembly of student musicians performed pieces by legendary composers Giuseppe Verdi, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and Ludwig van Beethoven Tuesday, Oct. 5.
Associate Professor of Music Brian Viliunas, the orchestra’s conductor, spoke about the decision making process behind the selections. Viliunas and the orchestra love playing Beethoven, so they chose his “Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93.” Viliunas described Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Capriccio Espagnol, Op. 34” as “both a crowd and orchestra favorite,” securing it’s spot on the night’s program. And as for “Overture from Nabucco,” Viliunas said he tried to choose music which highlights the different sections of the orchestra, which is what led him to choose the Verdi composition.
The orchestra is sponsored by the Patty McDonald Orchestra Series. Viliunas called the eponymous Patty McDonald, who’s been sponsoring the Samford Orchestra for the past several years, an incredible sponsor and “terrific model of philanthropy.”
Viliunas described his student performers as an engaged and interested group that shows their passion for music in the performances they give. These are features he believes make the group attractive to McDonald, who’s known to patron and sponsor quality artistic events all over Birmingham.
The audience seemed to agree with Viliunas’ assessment; the performance ended with a lengthy applause and a standing ovation.
For those who missed Tuesday night’s performance, , the Samford Orchestra’s next performance is scheduled for Nov. 9, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. in Brock Recital Hall. Two additional performances are slated for the spring semester.
Viliunas said he hopes more students who are passionate about music will join the orchestra soon. They are currently looking for new members, and those who are interested can contact Viliunas at firstname.lastname@example.org.