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Union orchestra to present first concert Nov. 8

Members of the University Orchestra prepare for their upcoming Nov. 8 concert. (Photo by Kacee Enzor)
Members of the University Orchestra prepare for their upcoming Nov. 8 concert. (Photo by Kacee Enzor)

JACKSON, Tenn.Oct. 30, 2013 – Union University’s University Orchestra will have its first concert at First Baptist Church in Jackson Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m.

This is the inaugural year for the Union University music department’s orchestra. The program for the concert will feature Julliard-trained oboist Demetrios Karamintzas as a guest artist performing the Vivaldi Oboe Concerto in C Major as well as a complete performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1.

After completing its pilot run in the spring of 2013, the University Orchestra has now become an official ensemble of the music department.

While the plan to establish an orchestra had been in the works, Michael Mann, assistant professor of music and conductor of the orchestra, built the orchestra and made the dream a reality.

“I, personally, came to Union to build both a new orchestra program and to build a stronger band program,” Mann said. “Part of that is recruiting music majors who would use their gifts for the glory of the Lord, but also be able to compete with any other players in the world for positions as permanent places of employment.”

The orchestra’s goal is to give all musicians an opportunity to play music that wouldn’t be available to them without the benefit of an orchestral ensemble.

University Orchestra member Paige Tang is the current concertmistress and said the orchestra is a great development for the department and a way to spend time with other musicians who are not music majors.

“It brings instrumentalists together once a week and offers opportunities of music none of us could play without a full orchestra,” Tang said.

The orchestra will also benefit the department in many ways.

“The presence of an orchestra positively impacts our reputation,” said Chris Matthews, chair of the music department. “Having a classical orchestra gives a message regarding the nature and quality of our program, a message that we are proud to convey.”

The orchestra consists of 35 musicians, mostly students along with some faculty and community members. Mathews is looking forward to the future and the possibility of recruiting more skilled musicians to perform for larger audiences.

The orchestra rehearses from 4-5:15 p.m. on Thursdays in Jennings Hall.

For more information, contact Mann at mmann@uu.edu or (731) 661-5231.

By Kacee Enzor (’15)

Media contact: Tim Ellsworth, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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