On the evening of Nov. 7, the Samford Orchestra played in Brock Recital Hall. The program consisted of famous classical numbers, including waltzes, polkas, marches and a playful samba. It was their second recital of the semester.
A class open to students of all majors and classifications, the Samford Orchestra offers a variety of performance opportunities for those who may not necessarily be music majors. Auditions are open to any students interested in participating.
Junior music composition major Daniel Eudy reflected on the diversity of musical experience in the orchestra.
“There [are] a large amount of people [for whom] the Samford Orchestra is their only outlet to cultivate their musicianship,” Eudy said. “It’s refreshing to see that level of involvement in Samford Orchestra. It’s refreshing to see that joy. It’s a reminder that I’m doing music because it brings joy in my life, and God has gifted me to be able to share it with others.”
Student conductor Libby Criswell led the orchestra through three pieces from Georges Bizet, while Brian Viliunas, conductor of the Samford Orchestra, led a selection of Dmitri Shostakovich, Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Zequinha Tchaikovsky.
“I wanted to do a concert that was all dance music, but maybe the audience didn’t realize that at first,” Viliunas said.
Senior William Spanier, who plays piano and percussion in the Samford Orchestra, enjoyed the setlist.
“I think that the concert was one of the best that the Samford Orchestra has put on,” Spanier said. “We had very fun pieces selected that a lot of people knew. Having a lot of recognizable and fun music motivated us to put in the work and play it to the best of our abilities.”
When introducing the works of Shostakovich to the audience, Viliunas reflected on the dual nature of dance; how at surface level, dance is just enjoyable exercise, but is at the same time a daring and rebellious act of self-expression.
“Shostakovich was [at the time] living under an incredible tyrannical regime and… had the spirit of dance, and was trying to overcome tyranny,” he said.
Midway through Viliunas’s speech, a young boy in the audience stood up on his chair and began to dance.
“That was great! He had the right spirit,” Viliunas said.
This may have been the last orchestra concert of the semester, but it certainly is not the last time the Samford Orchestra will be performing this fall. From Nov. 16-19, the Samford Orchestra will be playing alongside the theatre department in their upcoming opera, Dragon’s Breath.