Westmont Orchestra wows with concertos and solos

David Shiang, David Shiang

The Westmont Orchestra held its annual Concerto Concert on Feb. 25 at the Lobero Theatre on State St.

The repertoire included several group pieces like “Variations on a Shaker Melody” by Aaron Copland, “Prelude and Fugue in Bb Major” by Johann Sebastian Bach, and an arrangement of “The Four Seasons” by Piazolla.

The Concerto Concert is a unique chance for three selected musicians to play alongside the Orchestra as soloists. This year’s soloists were pianist Jesse Neiman, violinist Sophia Chan and tenor Sibongakonkhe Msibi.

The Horizon spoke with Violinist Samie Watanabe about her experience watching the performances and with soloist Sophia Chan about her experience performing.

All the soloists worked tremendously hard on their repertoire and were dedicated to their pieces. Chan started working on “Scottish Fantasy” by Max Bruch in Jan. 2021, learning all four movements throughout the following year.

Watanabe enjoyed the soloists’ performances, saying “it was really amazing to see how hard they worked to make the performance spectacular.” She felt “very happy to accompany them for this concert.” Watanabe specifically noted how Sophia Chan’s “high notes sounded so cool in the concert hall … [Watanabe] ended up getting a couple goosebumps from it.”

Soloist Sophia Chan reflected, “Performing with a full orchestra was a grand experience and I am grateful to be able to share this experience with my friends in the orchestra.”

Westmont Orchestra greatly appreciates the generous donors who continue to support the program. If you missed the concert, view it online here and make sure to attend the Chamber Orchestra Concert Mar. 27 in Deane Chapel. 

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