By Rachel Aldrich. Originally published in the PHC Herald, 12/23/12.
Patrick Henry College
PHC faculty, chamber orchestra, and chorale present "An Evening with Mozart"
“I am so pleased with how the group has come so far in such a short time,” Dr. Scott McCormick said.
Dr. Steven McCollum, director of music at PHC, said he thought the evening went very well: “The Lord’s been really faithful.”
The chamber orchestra, directed by McCormick, opened the evening with a performance of Allegro from Symphony No. 25 in G minor, K. 183, its first performance of a symphonic piece.
“That represents the growth in our students and the depth of talent we’ve developed here,” McCollum said.
McCormick said he hopes that this is an example of what PHC’s musicians can do as the group continues to grow.
“I’m hopeful that [the students] can see where we’re headed,” he said.
The PHC chamber orchestra consists of fourteen enrolled string players, including two homeschool students. The orchestra also brought in some wind players from the community to assist in the performance of the symphonic works. Professor Jennifer Jackson and Dr. Kristina Tanner joined the orchestra on two pianos for the second piece, Rondo from Piano Concerto No. 10, K. 365.
McCormick jokingly called it a “historic performance,” explaining that the two uprights being used were closer to what Mozart would have used than the grand pianos traditionally used at concerts would have been.
The PHC Chorale, directed by McCollum, joined the Chamber Orchestra for the rest of the evening. They performed five pieces from Mozart’s Solemn Vespers: Dixit , Confitebor, Beatus vir, Laudate Dominum, and Laudate Pueri , based on Psalms 110, 111, 112, 117, and 113 respectively. Professor Sherry Doyle accompanied the students as lead soprano during Laudate Dominum. McCormick said that he was really excited that some faculty members were able to perform alongside of the students.
“One of the unique things about music is you can really bring faculty and students into the same venue,” he said.
McCormick explained there were some logistical difficulties, but the students responded to the new obstacles very well.
“When the students are presented with a challenge, they tend to rise to meet it,” he said.