CSUF Symphony Orchestra returns to Meng Concert Hall | Way of life


After a long hiatus following the COVID-19 pandemic, the CSUF Symphony Orchestra returned to live concerts last Saturday. (Eliza Green / Daily Titan)

The Cal State Fullerton University Symphony Orchestra, led by Kimo Furumoto, returned for their first live performance on October 2 at CSUF’s Meng Concert Hall.

The orchestra performed four songs: “Le Carnaval Romain” by Hector Berlioz, “Ride of the Valkyries” by “Die Walküre” by Richard Wagner, “Flying Theme” by “ET (The Extra-Terrestrial)” by John Willams , and Symphony No.6 in B minor, Op. 74 “Pathétique” by Piotr IIich Tchaikovsky.

For the first time in over a year, 73 student musicians, some of whom were playing together for the first time, gathered to once again delight an audience. Kimo Furumoto, the orchestra’s director, said the transition period was a challenge as students moved from practicing alone online to performing together.

“It’s a challenge because we’ve done so much online. Even with music, we did virtual performances, ”Furumoto said. “So now when we’ve come together to get used to what it feels like to play in person, it can be a challenge. ”

The artists also recognized the difficulties of transition of the past two years. First-year graduate student Joshua Allen plays viola in the orchestra and has discussed his difficulties performing with others.

“It was new, because 70% of us had never played together before. Normally there is an overlap so that was a pretty big change. I think it was kind of a welcome, ”Allen said.

Despite the struggles so far, the evening of performance couldn’t have been better according to international graduate student and violist Esra Arin.

“It was amazing because it had been so long since we last played on stage. Especially at Meng Hall which is amazing. I’m so happy to be back to do live concerts, ”said Arin.

Furumoto said the performers and conductor were excited to bring their music to CSUF.

“It basically went silent for the public for almost two years. It’s triumphant for the wonderful return to live music in a place where it’s meant to be with people listening to it, ”Furumoto said.

The public was the pivot of this renewed return to the stage for the orchestra. The orchestra’s previous performance was in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic, and for many performers, all they wanted was to perform in front of an audience.

“Music is a question of audience-performer interaction. So if you miss half of that, it’s kind of hard to stay motivated with school and stuff, ”Allen said.

Despite the range between each of the songs performed; there was a common favorite throughout the show. Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 6” was a favorite of Furumoto, Allen and Arin.

“Tchaikovsky is a very, very special play. It’s a very big piece – very difficult. But it’s pretty amazing to play, ”said Furumoto.

The song was performed after the intermission and was the perfect piece to set the tone for the rest of the performance. Arin added that Tchaikovsky was his favorite because of the emotions and the old instruments. “Symphony No. 6” is a true piece from top to bottom, ranging from the dark moments to the vivid moments of each section; keep the public on their toes.

In their third performance of the College of The Arts semester, the University Symphony Orchestra presented a lively performance on stage. Being the first to perform in the concert hall with a live audience, the orchestra set the tone for the rest of the musical performances for the coming semester.

The orchestra’s next performance will be on November 14 at 3 p.m. in the Meng Concert Hall. Tickets are sold at the box office as well as online, with a discount for students.

For a full list of College of the Arts performances and upcoming events, visit their website at http://calendar.fullerton.edu/colleges/college-of-the-arts-music.php


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