Concerto concert showcases soloists, Symphony Orchestra

Chronicle Staff

A single, clear note hangs in the air, floating down the hall of first floor Chalmers as Danny Weber ’08 draws his bow over the strings of his violin. Suddenly, a deep voice cuts off the note.

Performing Arts teacher Paul Ludden, who stands observing him, plays the same note on the piano behind them. Weber holds his bow still and cocks his head, listening intently.

They stand in Chalmers 101, one of the two practice rooms open to performers to practice independently during the day. Like Weber, many students found in the rooms are practicing for the eighth annual Concerto Concert, which will be held Saturday in Rugby Theater.

This year’s concert will showcase 14 soloists, including Chamber Singers Carolyn Berliner ’07, Brandon Levin ’09 and Ali Pechman ’08. Berliner and Pechman will sing Handel’s duet aria “The Occasional Oratorio.” Levin will instead play Movement 1 of Mozart’s Piano Concerto #20. The soprano duet is one of the concert’s two duets.

“I should really limit [the number of students] to 6-8, to be more manageable, but my educational philosophy is to be inclusive and broadly educational,” Ludden said.

Students who wish to participate in the concert practice a piece of their choosing before auditioning in the spring. Symphony Orchestra learns accompaniments to the chosen soloists’ songs, which on occasion are different from the audition pieces, in the fall of the next school year.

“This very inclusive competition first encourages the excellent performer, then recognizes the responsible and, perhaps, older student who may not have had a chance to play in the concert previously,” Ludden said about the selection criteria.

“This is a unique opportunity for soloists and orchestra members alike,” Ludden said. “Some of our students are very advanced and our school can handle the event. My respect and affection for all participants is extremely high.”

The soloists also include pianists Michelle Kim ’07 and Jonathan Lee ’08; Adam Gold ’07 on trumpet; violinists Sarah Park ’07 and Jack McFadden-Talbot ’09; Eleanor Kim ’07 on viola; Leland Farmer ’07 on bass; and flutists Jessica Chuang ’07 and Lauren Yu ’07, who will perform the second duet.

Tickets for the concert are $7, and the Parents Association will provide refreshments during the intermission.