Orchestra Presents 'Best Performance Yet'by Steve Charles • April 26, 2012
Embracing works that challenge professional ensembles, the Wabash Chamber Orchestra brought technical precision and a lush sound on Sunday in Salter Hall to the works of Dvorak, Respighi, and Rossini during a concert Professor of Music and Chair of the Department Peter Hulen called the group’s “best performance yet.”
Admired for pushing his musicians to play at their highest level, Conductor and Director Alfred Abel also supported them by bringing in additional brass and percussion for the playing of Dvorak’s Symphony No. 4 in G major.
“Having a complete low brass section made the Dvorâk possible, and that was very exciting to hear,” Hulen said.
“Alfred Abel always challenges the players in the Wabash Orchestra with a piece like that—one we fear will be too difficult—but we are delighted when we find that we can pull it off,” said Professor of Music Larry Bennett, who performed with the group Sunday for his last time as a Wabash faculty member.
“Playing in the orchestra is a real community-building experience because it includes students, faculty, staff, Montgomery county musicians, even high school students. We all work toward the same end—making great music.”
“The program was demanding for the players, and interesting to the audience,” Hulen said of the concert, which also included a set of Ancient Airs and Dances by Respighi and the comic overture to Rossini’s The Thieving Magpie. “I was impressed with the lush sound and technical care of the strings, on-the-dot performances by a complete wind section, and excellent percussion performances. In my eight years at Wabash College, this was perhaps their best performance yet.”
"This greatly improved Chamber Orchestra is one of the best-kept secrets here at Wabash,” Bennett said.
After last Sunday’s concert, that secret is out.