Manchester University
Oak Leaves

March 11, 2016

STRING SECTION The Manchester Symphony Orchestra string section focuses on its piece. Photo by Savannah Riley.

MSO Presents Chamber Works Gala

Sarah Farnam

The Manchester Symphony Society hosted its third concert of the 77th season on March 6 in Cordier Auditorium. Students, faculty, staff and community members gathered to see the Chamber Works Gala, which featured a variety of short pieces played by small instrumental ensembles.

Manchester University’s brass quintet (Mykayla Neilson, trumpet, Grant Ebert, trumpet, Laura Dickey, horn, Chris Hartman, trombone and Nathan Crain, tuba) opened up the event with “Die Bankelsangerlieder” by Georg Daniel Speer. This was followed by “Artichokes” and “Pomegranates” by Erich Zummack. The two pieces were played by Lila Hammer, clarinet, Mark Huntington, clarinet, Erich Zummack, bassoon, Freddie Lapierre, bassoon and Steve Hammer, trumpet.

“Vanishing Point” by Tim Reed, associate professor of music, was the next piece played by Scott Humphries, alto saxophone, Kathy Davis, flute, Lila Hammer, clarinet, Robert Lynn, cello, Darrel Fiene, bass and Tim Reed, piano. This marriage between wind, string and percussion instruments produced a fast and slow melodious sound.

“Crumpet the Trumpet” by Kristine Papillon, the featured composer, was the final piece played for the first half of the event. The piece called for a larger group of string and percussion instruments. “Crumpet the Trumpet” is a story about an enchanted village where musical instruments come to life. The story centers on baby Crumpet, the Trumpet who fails to go to sleep and whose mother solicits help from all the other musical instruments in the village. Multiple instruments come to help but all their efforts are in vain. Finally, Hailey the Harp plays a lullaby that instantly sends Crumpet the Trumpet to sleep.

Andre Papillon, Kristine Papillon’s husband, offered an animated narration of the story as illustrations were being featured on the screen located on the left side of Cordier Auditorium. “Crumpet the Trumpet” was voted the number-one musical gift for children in 2015. After the intermission, the Manchester Symphony Orchestra Winds performed “Serenade in E-flat major, op.7” by Richard Strauss and finally the larger orchestra that performed “Crumpet the Trumpet” (excluding the percussion instruments) closed the event with “Capriol Suite” by Peter Warlock. At the close of the event, refreshments were served in Cordier lobby as attendees interacted with one another.

The Manchester Symphony Orchestra consists of students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the Music Union. Scott Humphries, conductor and director of instrumental studies and music education, talked about the setup of the orchestra. “It’s a unique collaboration between the university, the community and the professionals that all come together for four concerts a year,” he said.

Humphries also talked about what goes into preparing for concerts. He mentioned that he has to plan several months ahead for a season. By the end of this month, he will have already chosen what next season is going to be about. “With orchestras, you really have to plan ahead because of the instrumentation…you have to know what instruments you’re going to need [and] what players you’re going to need for each concert,” he said. “I probably spend more time in orchestra administration than I do conducting it.”

Some of the students that were in attendance were quite pleased with the performance. “I especially liked Erich’s and Tim’s pieces,” said Grant Ebert, a junior music education major with vocal and instrumental emphasis and vocal performance and member of the brass quintet from Peru, Ind. “It was interesting to hear their compositions. I thoroughly enjoyed the ‘Crumpet the Trumpet’ performance. Overall, a nice change in performance style for the MSO.”

Timothy Pariseau, a junior biology-chemistry major from Findlay, Ohio, was also impressed with the performance. “Despite being a volunteer-based function, their performance was delivered so professionally that it seemed like it was their job,” he said.