After just 18 hours of rehearsal, Hillsdale’s symphony orchestra will play a full concert tonight at 8 p.m. in the Sage Center for the Arts. The concert will feature two concerto competition winners, sophomore violinist Tova Forman and junior vocalist Sarah Schutte. The Hillsdale College Big Band will play a jazz afterglow concert following the performance.
“We had a short rehearsal period for this, compared to a lot of our concerts because of the Washington, D.C., trip. It kind of cut into our rehearsal time,” Music Director James Holleman said. “It’s fun music to listen to.”
The orchestra played for the College Orchestra Directors’ Association’s annual conference in Washington, D.C. this February, and preparing for the trip consumed a significant amount of this semester’s rehearsal time. The orchestra rushed to learn the music for the concert after their Washington, D.C., performance, concertmaster Rachelle Ferguson, a senior violinist, said.
“Everything has been happening at once,” Ferguson said. “With the D.C. concert, we didn’t touch this music until the second week of February. Which was great, because we had all that time to polish our D.C. music, which really paid off. But we’ve only had this music for a month.”
The number of orchestra members who played in the pit for the musical “Kiss Me, Kate!” also cut into rehearsal time, Ferguson said.
“The musical this week as well — so many people are involved in that, Professor Holleman hasn’t been able to rehearse us,” she said.
Nevertheless, Forman will open the concert with a series of Romanian folk dances by Bela Bartok.
“They’re really fun to play on violin,” Forman said. “It’s nice to open the concert with a short fun piece … and that’s kind of what mine is.”
Schutte will sing “Ah scostati – Smanie implacabili” from Mozart’s opera “Cosi fan tutte.” The aria is sung by the character Dorabella as she laments her beloved’s departure to war. Schutte will also sing “Lied” and “Csardas” from Franz Lehar’s “Zigeunerliebe.”
The program also includes Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Capriccio Espagnol,” Alan Hovhaness’s “Mysterious Mountain” symphony, and Modest Mussorgsky’s “Night On Bald Mountain.”
“It is really fun music,” Ferguson said. “The Rimsky-Korsakov is cool because it features a lot of soloists and a lot of groups. There’s actually one movement that is mostly cadenzas all around the orchestra … It’s very fun. The theme kind of gets passed around the orchestra in a very cool way.”
This concert will be shorter than most, Holleman said, which will allow students to rest from studying before spring break.
“It should be really good energy, it should be really upbeat, and it should be really audience-friendly,” Holleman said.