Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Civic Orchestra puts on fine show

Full Orchestra 12Nov2005, originally uploaded by leucanthemum b.

Monmouth Civic Orchestra had its concert Saturday evening -- as advertised -- to an enthusiastic crowd of about 60 concert-goers. I'd have liked to have seen more people there, but in this small community, the people who usually are the strongest supporters for the arts were divided over attractions -- the Buchanan Center for the Arts had its annual fund-raising supper at the same hour on the same evening, darn them.

At center in this photo is Stephen Richter, clarinet soloist and member of Monmouth College's faculty in the Music department. Beside him, with her back to the camera, is Donna Hauge, the director of the MCO. Donna has been leading the orchestra for the better part of three decades, as well as sitting at the head of the violin section, and in her spare time has offered the local kids music lessons. She surrendered the First Violin chair, this time around, due to health issues, but was still quite capable of conducting well.

To the far left, in this picture, is the other soloist, Mary Johnston, who opened the concert quite nicely. With a few more years working in a solid group setting, she may have the makings of a concert master... until then, she may wish to work on playing with conviction. She was quite good, but when the rest of the orchestra fell behind her in tempo, Mary tried to drop back to their pace instead of pushing them to come to her. She should have believed in herself just a little more, and the rookie listeners would have never noticed there was a weak point in the concert. I told my best friend (and first chair celloist) Mari that she could share the old adage I heard from a friend who now lives overseas, "When you lie, do so with conviction." Make everybody else believe you know what you're doing, even when you think you're mostly clueless. Look how well it works in politics...

As you can see by its modest scale, our community orchestra is not going to be in direct competition with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra or the Berlin Philharmonic any time soon, but they still put on a solid, entertaining show, and deserve all the support we can offer them.

No comments: