Sure, it was the day after Halloween. But that didn’t stop the concert master from coming out donning a witch’s hat or the orchestra from selecting a few songs suited well to the pirate-like holiday of the day before. Combined with a strong performance from the Midnight Ramblers, it was a great way to spend the day after the much-loved, candy-grubbing holiday.

The UR Chamber Orchestra put on this Pops concert to help fundraise money for their trip to Chile this December. And if this show was any indication, Chile is in for a treat.

Then again, I may be a bit biased. I have a deep love for several of the selections that the orchestra chose to perform. But, then again, who can resist a suite from ‘Harry Potter”, especially the day after Halloween. Add that to the fact that the orchestra closed its first half with ‘Highlights From Jurassic Park”, another personal favorite, and I was a pretty happy camper.

That being said, a lesser orchestra would run a risk by playing such popular tunes. The catch 22 of pop music is that people know and expect to hear certain things from their favorite songs. If the trumpet call in ‘Jurassic Park” is missed, for example, people notice. But the orchestra played strong and showed no real weakness in any of the selections.

To nitpick, I could have used a little more brass, but that’s because I am a brass player. And really, people don’t come to an orchestra to hear brass; it really is all about the strings. That is not to say that the brass didn’t play well as most of the section was comprised of people volunteering to play with this show. Just play out a little more to balance yourself with all the strings but I say that with the sincerest form of constructive criticism.

And the strings played exceptionally, even more so for the fact that the band is comprised of very few music majors. Whoever said science majors couldn’t play their instruments clearly hasn’t listened to the URCO.

Taking the stage after intermission were the Midnight Ramblers. And when I say taking the stage, I mean running down the aisle screaming as they made their way on stage. Going through fan favorites such as ‘Bananaman”, they offered the usual humor and high level of musical talent I have come to expect from them the several times I have seen them. They also have a concert coming up on Nov. 15 at 8 p.m., so go out and support Rochester’s own home-grown musical talent.

The second half of the night also included yet another favorite orchestra piece of mine, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean.” Do I need to say any more about how awesome that piece is? It’s ‘Pirates of the Caribbean”, seriously people, come on now.

Closing off the night with themes from ‘007″, the orchestra put on a very impressive and enjoyable night of music. Maybe it was because all of the selections were great pieces of music that I enjoyed or maybe because of the great talent and musicianship or, maybe, just maybe, it was both. Either way, the URCO is yet another great source of musical talent on campus, and any fans of classical (or pop) music should really check them out.

Clark is a member of the class of 2012.



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