World premier song to debut with orchestra tonight

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Annie Burdiak

Senior Nathaniel Martin co-wrote this story.

The  concert and symphony orchestras will conduct their first shows tonight at  7:30 p.m. Under the direction of Robert Bassill, the orchestras will play a combined five pieces, including a world premiere.

Jim Stephenson, a local composer and father of four, including three alums of LFHS orchestra, composed an original piece called “Together for the Symphony Orchestra” to perform for the first time.

Together begins with a moving melody that is passed from section to section to create a wave type sound. It concludes with quick, quiet notes that crescendo while the tempo accelerates, creating what sounds like a mad dash to the finish line at the end of a race. Stevenson was able to work with the symphony to ensure that the music in his mind became the music the orchestra played. Sadly, he will be unable to attend the world premiere of his work.

“This will be the world premier, which is pretty cool to think about,” said senior Symphony orchestra violinist Anna Aquino.

The concert orchestra will be the first to perform, and they will showcase Hungarian Dance #1 by Johannes Brahms. Concert will then play Finale from Dvorak’s Symphony 8. The piece includes a gradual crescendo that finishes with a proud march-like conclusion.

The symphony orchestra will perform three pieces, including  Mozart’s Little Symphony in G minor. This piece that was written by Mozart when he was only 17 was used in the film Amadeus.

Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings is the second piece played by the symphony. Certainly the most challenging technical piece, each member of the symphony was required to play four excerpts individually for Bassill to ensure rhythm and pitch accuracy. Serenade for Strings includes variations and harmonizations on two different melodies. It concludes in a molto meno mosso section that sounds both beautiful and proud.

“The fall concert is always a tough one because the beginning of the school is intense for everyone,” said Aquino.

Next week the orchestra will do a combined concert with the eighth grade orchestra, where the middle school musicians spend a day at LFHS with the orchestra and practice for later that night at their concert.  This year, the combined piece will be a medley of songs from the new movie the Greatest Showman. This annual event  hosted for incoming freshman is meant to keep these musicians involved and to continue their passion for music.

However, none of this would  come together without the hard work of the orchestra teacher and conductor Robert Bassill.

“Despite the chaos, with Mr. Bassill leading us with his comical yet inspiring monologues, we get it done,” Aquino said.