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February 22, 2008
Vol. 49 No. 16

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Orchestra concert to reflect University Theme of "Water"

Building on this year's 2007-08 theme of "Water," the Susquehanna University Orchestra will perform a concert at 8 p.m. today in Stretansky Hall with a premise tailored to the theme.

Jennifer Sacher Wiley, associate professor of music and the conductor and director of the Susquehanna Orchestra, said that the pieces in the program connect to this year's theme of "Water" through their fluidity and tendency to "defy boundaries."

Featured in this year's concert will be Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, Mozart's Flute Concerto and the debut of a piece written by Kirk O'Riordan specifically about the Susquehanna River called "River Lights."

Junior Margeaux Katz, a music education major, de-scribed O'Riordan's piece as "beautifully unique, filled with special effects." Katz is also a violinist and singer.

Junior Rachael Kern, a music performance major, will be playing Mozart's Flute Concerto No. 1 in G major. Kern was the winner of the Susquehanna University Orchestra's annual concerto/aria competition.

Wiley said that this year's concert will be quite different from the rest. Recently inspired by the Orpheus Chamber Players, the students participating in the concert will be performing the pieces by Mozart without a conductor. Wiley said that this is a further example of "fluidity" as this concert attempts to break down traditional boundaries.

"After seeing the artist series' ...orchestra without a conductor, Dr. Wiley had the idea to do something similar," Katz said. "Rachael and I will be leading the orchestra as we play, which has turned out quite well in rehearsals."

Katz is also the concertmaster for this performance. Katz said that the choice of songs and pieces this year was great, as Beethoven's Fifth Symphony is very well-known and popular, and she hopes that it will draw a wider audience.

Wiley will conduct Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, and O'Riordan will conduct his own piece.

The orchestra is composed of both music majors and liberal arts students.

Traditionally, the orchestra performs about three to four concerts each year and alternates between customary orchestra programs and more collaborative, creative and innovative productions. In addition, the orchestra tours with an educational program to more urban school districts on alternating years, according to the orchestra's Web site.

Wiley earned her doctorate in musical arts from the University of Minnesota. She also has obtained degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory and the New England Conservatory.

Stretansky Hall is located in the Cunningham Center for Music and Art. For more information, call ext. 4281 or visit the orchestra's Web site at susqu.edu/music.

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