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CelebrateAmerica a Presentationby the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra

On14thof November, 2014 in Shryock Auditorium, the Southern IllinoisSymphony Orchestra celebrated the Veterans Day with CelebratingAmerica, whichwas a classic selection of American music. The event included othercompositions from various artists from America. Also, Andrew Sister’smedley was involved. Other choirs like SIU Choral Union, SIU ConcertChoir, and the children’s choir from Southern Illinois joined theOrchestra in the presentation. Other performers were like jazzensemble from SIU, the New Arts Jazztet, and violin proffessorMichael Barta.Thewhole presentation was guided by maestro Edward Benyas and associateconductor Joseph Ryker. The evening was very great and everyone whoattended seemed excited. The concert was aimed at honoring allAmerican’s veterans for their love, patriotism, and their will tosacrifice and serve for all. In addition, it involved celebrating theAmerican music. The Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra is a musicgroup that is composed of students and faculty of southern IllinoisUniversity. In addition, the group is composed of talented areaprofessionals and community members who have brought great music toSouthern Illinois.

Themusicians began by warming up and tuning up their differentinstruments. Then, the music started with exciting and greatovertures from one of the performers. From this, you could hearcacophony of sounds allover the auditorium. Before the actual concertstarted, Edward Benyas entered the stage, bowed, and then spoke andwelcomed everyone who attended the concert in honor of veterans inAmerica. Moreover, he said that it was an honor to have members ofthree vocal soloists, three choirs, New Arts Jazztet, and violinsoloist Michael Barta. He assured everyone that all performers werewell prepared to contribute to a fantastic and great evening. Thesimilar dressing code by the performers attracted the attendeesbecause they looked professional with formal black clothes.Immediately, the howling vocals of American fanfare echoed in theauditorium as the concert started. With dissonance, musical stomping,and syncopation, the orchestra was able to reflect the hardships theveterans underwent for the sake of their state. People clapped afterthis piece ended. The next piece was Americanportraitthat was written by Lionel Semiatin, a 97 years old World War IIveteran. The interpretation of this piece was done in positive waythat reflected the passion performers had for music. The piece thatfollowed was from Schindler’slistthat was written by john Williams. The haunting melody and the soundvariations from violinist Michael Barta allowed this piece to shinfor his professional mastery of the musical instrument and for theexquisite sounds he was able to produce. There was a loud of applauseafter the end of this performance. The first half concluded with apiece SaturdayNight Waltz andan exuberanthoe-down countrymusic.At intermissions, the audience had a chance to enjoy a performancethat had a theme of World War II by students from Betsy Brown atCarbondale Lewis School, upstairs. Not only was the intermissionhelpful to me as I was able to stretch my legs, but also I got achance to watch this performance upstairs. The intermission was aimedat allowing the attendees to watch the performance by students fromclass of Betsy. The second half of the music performance featured theSouthern Illinois symphony joining the new Arts Jazztet. Theyperformed three selections of Jazz from America that sounded smoothat first, then sorrowful, then ended with a sound of light. Theperformance that followed involved Zoe Jensen, Lydia Eiche, andMichelle Ford medley of Andrew Sister’s songs. The concert endedwith a piece Godbless America wasperformed by the Orchestra and combined choirs. The piece was wellperformed and represented in a professional way that was followed bya respectable flourish.

Theinstruments that featured prominently were violin, harp, bass,trumpet, clarinets, cello, piano, and saxophone. The stringedinstruments were more than those other types. These instruments wereof different basic types including brass, woodwinds, percussion, andstring family. The listeners could perceive emotional meaning ofintensity and power at the beginning and whimsical melody in the end.This aspect was portrayed through loudness at the beginning of thepieces and a wide range of notes at the end. I could recognize soundquality by identifying and distinguishing sound quality betweenvarious instruments, which I had learned from class as timbre. Themusic performances came from the era of World War II and aimed atcommemorating veterans for the love, patriotism and sacrifice theymade for all.

Inconclusion, under the direction of Edward Benyas, the performers werereminded where tempo changes could occur. In other words, thedirector reminded them where certain parts should be played. Forexample, baton waving acts as a reminder of tempo changes. Myexpectations of the concert were confirmed as I was able tounderstand more about the musical elements and instruments that I hadlearnt in class. In addition, the performance was quite impressive asit reflected the love and sacrifices veterans had for the country.Every performance was interesting and I enjoyed every bit of it. If Icould get a chance to talk with the performers, I could have askedthem about how they manage to look at the classical work and at thesame time look at the conductor. Without the knowledge of MUS 103, Icould not have understood the music performances presented. Theknowledge gained from MUS 103 helped me to gain an understanding ofvarious aspects of music. Before the next concert, I will make surethat I read the online program notes to get a more understanding ofthe performances.