Friday, November 18, 2005

Senior Perspective

This year is my fourth and last year as a member of the CSO. Of all the classes, activities, and commitments that have contributed to my experience at Cornell, the Symphony will remain one of my fondest memories of my time here. In high school and before, I inevitably felt “different” from other kids when I would rock out to Dvorak’s 9th instead of Green Day (although I hear they’re pretty good). Upon entering the CSO, I was glad to realize that others in my generation appreciated Stravinsky and Mahler as much as I did.
Along with this common bond of classical music training, one might imagine that everybody would be more or less similar in the orchestra. Yet I am consistently amazed each semester at how the orchestra is comprised of such a diverse group. The CSO is made up of students of all ages and disciplines, as well as the occasional faculty member. It impresses me how otherwise unknown members of the musical community emerge and unite to practice what they love. Many people on campus are unaware of the incredible musical talent displayed in the symphony, and it gives me great pride to notice a CSO member on campus and recognize the talent that they possess. As a result, I try as hard as I can on a personal level to spread awareness of the Symphony and its amazing performers.
I am also impressed with the repertoire chosen each semester. When I arrived as a freshman three years ago, John Hsu was in the midst of completing his Beethoven symphony series. This is a sizable endeavor for any orchestra, let alone a university orchestra comprised predominantly of non-music majors. In the same vein, Chris has done an admirable job of choosing interesting traditional works for the symphony, as well as providing opportunities to showcase contemporary works. This is beneficial for the composers, and it also helps us as an orchestra to explore the trends of music today. It is always more tempting to play a piece that everybody knows and will love to play and hear, but it is much riskier to choose unfamiliar works. I see it as an example that familiarity breeds liking, because while I often scoff at the modern works at the beginning, come concert time I have grown to appreciate them. Friends and family who attend the concerts also agree that the contemporary works provide a welcome diversity to the repertoire.
It’s rare that I get excited to sit down and complete the research paper I’ve been putting off for the last few weeks. Yet who doesn’t get excited when we crack that first chord in the Firebird? Academics can be fun and interesting, but they do not tap into one’s emotions the way we all know music can. For me, nothing can replace the familiar feeling I get when I walk into Lincoln B20 and warm up. From the days back when Professor Hsu was conducting Beethoven, to new leadership under Chris Kim, the CSO has remained a great escape from the often monotonous and usually painful academic week. I have been exposed to classic symphonic works with which I was unfamiliar, and I have learned to appreciate many of the contemporary artists that are emerging. I have gained a lot from my experience with the CSO, and I hope that my four years of dedication have contributed to the group as well. I look forward to a fun final semester of orchestra! - Paul Dumont, Psychology, '06 from November 2005 Whole Notes

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Freshmen perspective

To think that my first semester of college is almost over is shocking- almost unreal. Where did all those days go?

Reflecting back on the semester, what made it go by so quickly was very much the work of the Symphony Orchestra. At the start, skepticism of my commitment got the better of me. With rehearsals twice a week, two to two-and-half hours long, who knew how much I could take through this difficult transition phase as a first-semester freshman. Little did I know, however, that joining the Orchestra would be my first best decision at Cornell. Allow me to explain.

In high school, for many of us, orchestra was just another activity to add their list of things to do. Many did it for their resumes, some for their parents, and even fewer, solely for the love of music. But here in college, I realized that no one is forced to do anything and for this matter, everyone is in it for the right reasons. It has been so enjoyable to be able to play with people with one common goal: to produce great music. From engineers to architects, a senior in high school to a graduate student, the orchestra has been the aspect that has introduced me to the rest of the college.

Yet another realization is that the orchestra has been such a great relief from stress and schoolwork. It’s just a place to relax and to have fun. Even before prelims, I come to rehearsals just to have that break from studying. Returning to your dorm with refreshing music in your mind, I learned, is the best way to take a break.

So it turns out that orchestra has been great after all. As I said, my first best decision at Cornell – being part of the Symphony Orchestra.
[Wesley Tillu, Engineering,'09 written for the November Whole Notes]

Sequenza 21

We also got mentioned in Sequenza 21, an online resources for contemporary music.

Here is the link to the website;
  • Sequenza 21
  • On An Overgrown Path: Terry Riley's 'In C' at the Johnson Museum

    Our Blog got a plug on a very cool blog about music.
    Go visit this Blog.

    On An Overgrown Path: Terry Riley's 'In C' at the Johnson Museum

    CCO in Barnes hall

    Cornell Chamber Orchestra tunes on the stage of Barnes Hall before the Bach Double violin concerto.

    Kate Vincent Takes a bow after Soul Garden

    Guest Artist/violist Kate Vincent and members of the Cornell Chamber Orchestra takea bow after the performance of Derek Bermel's Soul Garden. Originally written for Paul Neubauer and the Lincoln center Chamber Music Society.

    Lisa and Lisa

    Chamber Orchestra members Lisa Hang, Biology, '06 and Lisa Chin, Human Development, '06 getting some last minute practice in before going on stage for the concert.

    Captain Underpants is in the audience

    One of our audience member entertains himself with a copy of Captain Underpants. This is from the November 13th Chamber Orchestra program. Photo was taken by Aara Edwards.

    Tuesday, November 15, 2005

    Malcolm Bilson's "Knowing the score"

    This amazing DVD should be required viewing for all current and former orchestra members.
    For current members a copy of the DVD is on reserve in the music library. Please watch the DVD before our masterclass with Malcolm Bilson on December 1 speaking on the Mozart triple concerto.
    Here is the info from the
  • Cornell Press website;

  • And a
  • link
  • to the recent article on his 70th birthday celebration.

    Distributed for the Cornell University Department of Music

    In this provocative video presentation, distinguished pianist Malcolm Bilson poses the question, “Do we really know how to read urtext editions, and how can this lead to expressive, even passionate performance?”

    In a one-and-a-half hour lecture before a live audience, aspects of notation of Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Prokofiev, Schubert, and Bartók are examined, showing clearly that there is far more expressive information in these sources than is usually presumed.

    Additionally, in an interview with pianist David Owen Morris in Bilson’s music room, a variety of early pianos are demonstrated and discussed. Two performances by Bilson are also included: Schubert’s Moments Musicaux nos. 2 and 3, performed on an 1830 André Stein piano in the Brahmssaal of the Musikverein in Vienna; and Haydn’s Fantasia in C, on a ca. 1795 Anton Walter replica in the Music Room of at Esterháza in Hungary.

    This DVD features a widescreen 16:9 transfer and is recorded in Dolby Digital Stereo. There are French, German, and English subtitles; the DVD has region-free encoding. Approx. 90 minutes.

    “Malcolm Bilson demonstrates with an infectious enthusiasm that an understanding of and attention to the score can result in increased musical expressivity and excitement, allowing the music to have its full, radical impact.”—Stephen Hough

    “By the sheer zest of his commitment to reappraising the way we play and hear the keyboard music of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert, Bilson has probably done more than anyone else toward shifting the lazy anachronistic clichés to which performers often resort. His passion is an inspiration to us all!”—Sir John Eliot Gardiner

    “So you think you know how to read music? Malcolm Bilson’s delightful presentation covers the subtle interconnections and confusions among composers’ intentions, musical notation, intellect, instinct, spontaneity, expression, and meaning in musical performance. It will almost certainly set you to rethinking much of what you thought you knew.”—Neal Zaslaw, Editor, The New Köchel

    First Todd Young Composer: Chris Gendall

    Here is a post from a website tracking New Zealand Composers. Our very own Chris Gendall, whose piece So it Goes will be featured on the December 11 concert, is featured in the following article.

  • Chris Gendall
  • (centre) hears his work performed by the NZSO. Chris Gendall has been awarded the inaugural Todd Young Composers Award for his composition So It Goes, following two days of rehearsed readings in Wellington.
    Conductor Hamish McKeich led the NZSO through works by nine young New Zealand composers: Claire Cowan (My Alphabet of Light), Andari Anggamulia (Les Images) and Jeff Lin (Waft and Conflict) from Auckland, Andrew Baldwin (Scenes from the Countryside, Op4.), Antony Verner (Time Pursuit), Isaac Stone (Contrasting Worlds ) and Chris Gendall (So It Goes)of Wellington, Thomas Brazier (Antarctica) from Christchurch and Ryan Youens (Subsidence) of Dunedin. John Psathas acted as mentor for the young composers. Ranging in age from 16 to 24, these nine composers and their works were chosen from a larger number of entries. The general consensus from players and audience alike was that the standard of orchestral writing was very high indeed. Perhaps we will have an opportunit y to hear these works again in concert repertoire?
    John Todd of the Todd Foundation was on hand at a reception following the readings to present Chris with the prize. Admitting that he had only ever played a ukelele, he expressed his admiration for the outstanding level of achievement shown by all nine young composers. It is hoped that the event will become and annual feature of the orchestra's education programme.
  • Steven Stucky's new website

    Here is a link to Steven Stucky's website. Steven Stucky is of course a pulitzer prize winning composer who is also a professor at Cornell and teacher of
  • Sean Shepherd
  • , our beloved Orchestra TA.
  • Steven Stucky's website

  • Professor Steven Stucky in his studio at Cornell University. © Cornell University. Photo by Nicola Kountoupes, University Photography

    orchestra picnic

    In the shadow of Cayuga Lake, on a picturesque Sunday afternoon- in early September, the Cornell Symphony and Chamber Orchestras held their annual picnic at Stewart Park. Members of both orchestras came to this event. For the new members, freshman and upperclassmen alike, it was great opportunity to meet fellow musicians. For returning members, it was a nice way to say hello to friends after a summer apart. It was also a great opportunity to see Cornell Symphony and Chamber Orchestra conductor, Chris Kim without a baton in hand.
    The afternoon began with a friendly game of Ultimate Frisbee. Many orchestra members played in the fun game. Those who didn’t partake in Frisbee enjoyed the cool shade on the sidelines. Both teams played hard in the game, and had a great time. After Frisbee, everyone sat down to a scrumptious picnic lunch, which included hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, and cold sodas for everyone.
    Following the lunch, some of the orchestra members had to leave. Those who stayed wanted to play a game of badminton. But there was no badminton net around! Instead, everyone played a modified game of badminton, without any net. The afternoon concluded with another game of Frisbee, this time played right on the lake shore.
    The picnic was an excellent way to bond with fellow musicians. Activities like the picnic really foster cross-orchestra connections between members of different sections. For example, normally, during rehearsal a bassist would be separated from a first violinist by many chairs and much distance. As we all know, the key to playing good music is listening to other sections. It certainly helps to know who you are listening to. This, in addition to the lovely weather and pleasant company, made the picnic an afternoon to remember.
    [from December 2005 Whole Notes by Ariel Waitz]

    interview of soloists for Bach double violin concerto

    The familiar opening phrase of Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins and Orchestra in D Minor stirs and excites memories for all violinists, and possibly for all classical music enthusiasts. Bach composed the piece around 1730 and many famous violinists have been attracted to the exuberance of the concerto over the years, including artists as varied as jazz violin greats, Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt. Each movement is rich with repeated contrapuntal imitation, in which the orchestra and soloists interact as friends in an intimate, conversation-like style.
    As violinists and Ithaca College Violin Professors Susan Waterbury and Rebecca Ansel coined it, the beloved concerto is “a friends’ piece.” The duo performed the Bach Double with Conductor Chris Kim and the Cornell Chamber Orchestra at the November 13th concert, and their communication both on and off the stage is indicative of why they’re so much fun to listen to and to watch play, as their shared love of music and their friendship becomes clear. When asked about their first exposure to the piece, both Waterbury and Ansel beamed with the chance to reminisce.
    For Ansel, who has taught at Ithaca College since 2002, while this was the first time she had performed the Concerto in its entirety, she performed the first movement of the piece when she was about age twelve at Appel-Farm Music Camp in New Jersey. She remembers it as her first duo concerto ever played, and since then she has performed movements of the piece on various occasions. Waterbury, who has taught at Ithaca College since 2000, remembered her first time with the Bach Double as reading the piece through in middle-school in her living room with her best violin friend. As she recalled, “Violinists are an odd bunch, so it’s a special connection to find someone with whom you can share this appreciation for music, especially at that age. And, the Bach Double is perfect for that. The parts are equal, and it’s very much a friends’ piece.” As Ansel added, “If you asked any of the violinists in the orchestra, they would most likely have similar memories of the first time they played this piece and probably, it would have been with their best violin friend.”
    Waterbury and Ansel’s choice words to describe the piece include “fun, effervescent, sweet, intimate, and conversational.” In addition to their delight in playing the concerto together as friends, they spoke fondly of the opportunity to play with Cornell students and with Conductor Chris Kim.
    On a personal note, I remember playing the Bach Double as my first real public performance, or at least as the first time I felt like I was a real violinist. I was age eleven, close to the age when Waterbury and Ansel first found their love for the piece. In a crowded public middle-school holiday concert with an audience of nearly 400 near Houston, Texas, I performed the first movement of the concerto with a friend. I even had a special new dress, christened, “The Bach Double Dress.” It was a spiritual experience for me – I felt the violin gods had granted me the opportunity to share this piece with an audience who, for the most part, had probably never been exposed to Bach’s music, let alone a double concerto for violins. But, more than the obligation to fulfill this musical mission, I had fun, playing a piece that always makes me want to do a gigue, and that brings a smile as I pass and receive the melody line to a friend on the fiddle next to me.
    [from the December 2005 Whole Notes by Brightin Schlumpf]

    Child of Tree at the Johnson Museum

    Chris and Brian Gainor performs John Cage's Child of Tree during the 2004-2005 season at the Johnson museum as part of the Materials Exhibit. The concert also featured Music for Radios by John Cage.

    Wednesday, November 09, 2005

    On An Overgrown Path: György Ligeti's Private Passions

    On An Overgrown Path: György Ligeti's Private Passions
    Great Blog site about music.

    Composer Gabriela Frank with CSO

    The Symphony hosted composer Gabriela Lena Frank for a performance of her Three Latin American Dances. She also gave lecture/recital at Barnes Hall and also at the new Alice Cook House residence Hall as a guest artist. She was on hand for the March 2005 concert.
    [from May 2005 Whole Notes]

    With guest artist Olivier Anthony Theuriallt. He was the trumpet/conductor artist for the Chamber orchestra concert on October 2, 2005.

    Kate Vincent residency

    Violist Kate Vincent worked with Chamber Orchestra member Aara Edwards in a viola masterclass during her visit to Cornell. In addition she taught lessons to both Symphony and Chamber Orchestra members and also led sectionals for the Chamber Orchestra in preparation for the April, 2005 performance of Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony. She also gave a viola recital with percussionist Nick Papador in an adventurous program including the music of Bach and Berio.
    [from May 2005 Whole Notes]

    Malcolm Bilson with CSO

    Both the Symphony and the Chamber Orchestra were fortunate to have a number of distinguished guest artists to enrich our musical season. The Symphony Orchestra hosted Malcolm Bilson for the March [2005] concert in a performance of César Franck’s Symphonic Variations. Malcolm Bilson has been in the forefront of the period-instrument movement for over thirty years. Internationally renowned pianist/scholar and the authority figure on the fortepiano, Professor Bilson has performed with orchestras around the world. However this concert was a special treat as it was the first time in almost forty years that he has played on a modern piano with an orchestra in public.
    [from May 2005 Whole Notes]

    Terry Riley's In C at the Johnson Museum

    On the evening of March 10, priceless art wasn’t the only thing visitors to the Herbert F. Johnson Museum found in the galleries. Members of the Cornell Symphony Orchestra gave a short, one hour performance of Terry Riley’s minimalist classic, “In C,” in the main gallery to accompany the current exhibit, “Material Matters.” Approximately twenty Cornell musicians performed the quasi-improvisational piece on a variety of instruments ranging from violins to saxophones to a clown horn (although it was used sparingly).
    The evening performance drew a considerable crowd, some of whom stayed in the gallery to watch the ensemble and some of whom strolled through the various exhibits while listening to the strains of “In C.” In order to follow along with the musicians, visitors were offered the sheet music, which consists of 53 “cells” of music that are played in order from start to finish with the duration, style, and octave for each cell set by the individual performers. This unique performance of “In C” was well received by all in attendance.
    by Laura Whitehurst ‘07 [from May, 2005 Whole Notes]

    Tuesday, November 08, 2005

    THE CSO in Syncopation with the Cornell Jazz festival

    During the last week of April, Cornell hosts the 14th Annual Jazz Festival, featuring guest saxophonist James Carter and trombonist and arranger Slide Hampton. The Cornell Symphony Orchestra is proud to collaborate with the Jazz ensembles for the first time in this event’s history, and the orchestra will jazz it up with James Carter playing Roberto Sierra’s Concerto for Saxophones and Orchestra.
    The Jazz Festival spans over a week with masterclasses, workshops, lectures, and various performances from our guest artists. However, the week’s culmination comes with the final concert, where the guest artists, CU Jazz Ensemble I, CU Orchestra, and select Ithaca High School musicians all share the stage. Through the generous funding from the music department, CCA, and SAFC, James Carter is Cornell’s “Artist in Residence” for the weekend. The orchestra is honored to have the opportunity of working with this distinguished artist. In addition to topping Downbeat’s annual Critics Poll in the Baritone Saxophone category for the third year in a row, James Carter is the only person on the face of the planet allowed to play Roberto Sierra’s Concerto for Saxophones and Orchestra. 
    Written for James Carter and The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the concerto integrates jazz and classical elements with a tinge of Sierra’s Puerto Rican heritage. After a rousing world premiere in October 2003, the glowing reviews among audiences and critics secured an encore performance to celebrate the opening of The Max.
    From the fiesta of a first movement to the dreamy second movement waltz to the final rock and roll movement, the concerto showcases talent from all ends. While the concerto is written in a conventional score for the orchestra, the combined effects of Sierra’s genius and Carter’s brilliance resonates a style that will please tradition but satisfy improvisation. Cadenzas become Carter’s stage to let loose and showcase his virtuosity while tutti’s show that the orchestra has some tricks of its own.
    The piece is like a giant syncopation, revealing that the traditionally weaker elements of the orchestra (improvisation) can still be accented and brought out to create a form of music that celebrates the best from all styles.
    All in all, the collaboration of the CSO with the Cornell Jazz Festival proves to be a mutual learning experience. The orchestra wishes to thank Mr. Paul Merrill, Director of Jazz Ensembles, for giving us the chance to be a part of this unique experience—different genres come together to create a hybrid of wonderful music, showcasing great taste, courage, and individuality. And best of all, it’s a ton of fun!
    By Arthur Chang Hotel Management, '07 [from May 2005 Whole Notes]

    letter from John Hsu

    Dear alumni members of CSO, I welcome this opportunity to get in touch with you via this new CSO Newsletter before I retire officially from the Faculty at the end of this academic year.
    For those of you who played in the CSO during my tenure as conductor, I want you to know that my years of making music with you gave me immense joy and satisfaction. It never ceased to amaze me that you were all able to play at such a high musical standard and with such a serious commitment while succeeding in meeting the demands of your academic programs. I treasure the memory of every work that we studied and performed together, in particular, the cycle of Beethoven Symphonies.
    I am very pleased that the CSO is now in good hands under Professor Kim, and I want to urge you all to support the musical endeavors of the CSO in the years ahead.
    I wish you success and satisfaction in your profession, and continuing joy in music making throughout your life.
    With warmest best wishes,
    John Hsu, Old Dominion Foundation Professor of Music
    [from May 2005 Whole Notes]

    A gift of a permanent legacy

    The John Hsu Endowment Fund:
    In 2005, after 50 years at Cornell, Professor John Hsu, beloved teacher, conductor, scholar, and friend retires, but he leaves behind a legacy for a brilliant future in the Cornell Music Department. Initially hired as a Professor of Cello, Professor Hsu held many positions within the Music Department during his half-century career at Cornell. He taught courses in theory, performed extensively on the viola de gamba, and most recently, conducted the Cornell Chamber Orchestra and Cornell Symphony Orchestra. As Maestro, he introduced exciting repertoire, including the complete Beethoven Symphony cycle. Students lucky enough to work under his baton learned to love the art of orchestral playing, the beauty of the expansive repertoire, and to appreciate the creative relationship between the musicians and the composer.
    In tribute to Professor Hsu'’s years of dedication and generosity to music at Cornell, the Music Department has chosen to honor him in a unique way with a gift that celebrates him while helping future Cornell orchestra musicians. The day following his farewell performance of Haydn'’s Creation, a luncheon was held in his honor at which this gift was unveiled: An endowment fund. The John Hsu Orchestral Fund will serve as a permanent legacy and will focus on enriching funds for orchestra activities at Cornell, such as future tours, retreats and guest artists. Professor Hsu was deeply moved by the presentation.
    The Cornell Music Department has provided the initial seed money for this new endowment fund; its growth will be dependent on targeted donations from the greater Cornell community. To sustain the vitality of this lasting legacy to Professor Hsu and orchestral music at Cornell, contributions to the fund are encouraged and greatly appreciated. Checks should be made out to Cornell University, memo John Hsu Orchestral Fund, or on the alumni website. For further reading about Professor Hsu, please see the forthcoming Cornell Music Department newsletter for an exclusive interview feature.
    By Brightin Schlumpf '07 [from May 2005 Whole Notes]

    Monday, November 07, 2005

    Chamber Orchestra concert on Sunday

    Come and support your fellow orchestra musicians.
    The Chamber Orchestra will give their Fall concert on Sunday November 13 at 3 pm in Barnes Hall.
    The program is as follows;
    J.S. Bach Double violin concerto BWV 1043 with Susan Waterbury and Rebecca Ansel
    Derek Bermel Soul Garden with Kate Vincent, viola
    Aaron Copland Appalachian Spring

    cornell concerto competition

    Here is the link to the Cornell Concerto competition.

    The deadline for applications are December 9, 2005.
    The competition will be held on Saturday February 4, 2006.
    The finals concert will be the same evening on February 4.
    The winner of the concerto competition will be perform with the orchestra on March 11, 2006.

    Friday, November 04, 2005

    from alumni member Saveri

    As I look back at my time at Cornell, one of my fondest memories is playing in the Cornell Symphony Orchestra. Every Wednesday (and during my senior year, Mondays as well), students from a variety of disciplines came together to do what we all loved: making music. Most of us were overachievers in high school and played music in addition to our AP classes, sports and clubs. But we realized in college that the orchestras and bands that we were a part of in high school, in a sense, became a part of us. Playing music became an important aspect of our life during the demanding years of college. It felt so good to take part in orchestra after a long day of classes, homework and other activities. I met most of my good friends while playing in the Cornell Symphony Orchestra. Despite our different majors, colleges, hometowns, and ethnicities, we formed an incredible bond while engaging in music together in orchestra. I sincerely miss my time as a musician of the Cornell Symphony Orchestra.

    bass recital poster

    Volkan Orhon is on campus. He will talk to the composers at the Forum on Friday at 125 pm.
    He will give a recital in Barnes Hall at 8 pm on Friday.
    He will end his visit with a masterclass in B20 on Saturday morning 10-1130 am.
    Take advantage of his visit and come to his recital.

    group photo from the orchestra picnic

    Here is the group photo from the orchestra picnic.
    Whose idea was it to have me lie in the front?

    article from Mark Scatterday

    Here is an article for the upcoming newsletter from Mark Scatterday.
    Dear Cornell Music Alumni,

    It is with great pleasure that I write to you today, almost four years from the day I left Cornell to start my current position as the conductor of the Eastman Wind Ensemble at the Eastman School of Music (ESM). As I look back at all that has happened at both schools since 2002, I realize that time does fly, especially when you are having fun, but also when you miss a place and people, like the wonderful students, faculty and staff at Cornell.

    I would like to thank Chris Kim for asking me to write. Many of you might remember me as the Wind Ensemble director, or the Chair of the Department from 1997-2002, or the “guy” that went around with a hard hat on for two years during the Lincoln Hall Renaissance construction. Some may remember that I also conducted the Chamber Orchestra from 2000-2002, a memory I cherish fondly – lots of great music-making in beautiful Barnes Hall.

    The things I miss about Cornell come up a lot in my conversations with my new colleagues and students here at ESM. At first, I thought I would make a list and in some way work these things into my letter to you. But, maybe a Letterman “Top Ten” list of things I miss would hit home more (Jim Webster and Neil Zaslaw would love that sentence structure). These are things that, if I didn’t love Rochester and my Alma Mater so much, I would have considered turning the movers around back in June of 2002.

    Top Ten Things I Miss about Cornell

    #1: The brightest students I have ever encountered. As a musician with blinders on most of my life, Cornell students invigorated me. They engaged intellectual connections in music that I never would have thought about. They also asked me questions about music that I never thought I would have to explain!

    #2: The great faculty that inspired me to go beyond the understood, the norm, and the status quo. Not only the music faculty, but faculty in many areas really taught me to reach beyond what I thought I could do, think or achieve.

    #3: Ithaca, who ever wants to leave? I know many “hanger-on-ers” – they “found” themselves at Cornell and Ithaca and they usually find a way to stay, even if they have to invent a job for themselves – great entrepreneurs!

    #4: Lincoln Hall – I gave over five years of my life to that place! Many of you helped, either with funds or support -- thank you for all of your help building a place that was as beautiful as the music making inside. Cornell students deserve this palace, I hope they appreciate it and take care of it!

    #5: Barnes Hall. I loved teaching 180 students in the Introduction to Music Theory in that auditorium almost as much as I loved performing there.

    #6: Bailey Hall. My only big regret is not seeing the renovation through after so many hours of planning. I look forward to hearing great music in that hall in a year and maybe …. perform there again?!

    #7: The girls – Jane, Ann and Loralyn. They made my 5 years as chair fly by making everything so professional, but fun!

    #8: The pianist under the chair’s office always missing that A-flat in the Apassionata. I remember going down and knocking on the door and just playing that note – I think he got it. Now I am surrounded by pianos on the 6th floor at ESM! (They also miss A-flats sometimes…).

    #9: Ed Murray, Lenore Coral, Robert Palmer, and Bill Austin.

    #10: The Cornell Golf Course, of course.

    Thanks for letting me reminisce. If we ever performed together, thank you for the great memories. I only hope that you are out there doing great things in the world and never forgetting your music experiences at Cornell. The world needs more good artistic citizens that make things happen in the arts and I hope you are one of them!

    Best wishes to you all,
    Mark Scatterday (CU 1989-2002)

    Thursday, November 03, 2005

    Fund raising is on

    Here is a picture of Stephanie and Wallace selling CD's and Dvd's of our recent concert at the Family weekend concert.

    New poster ready for December concert

    Her is the poster for our upcoming December 11 concert at Ford Hall.
    Our soloist will be Miri Yampolsky and Xak Bjerken will conduct the Brahms Piano concerto no. 1.
    They are both Leon Fleisher students and it will be a great experience to make music with them.
    The same concert will also feature a new piece by Cornell composer Chris Gendall, known as So it goes.
    CSO will also play parts of Firebird suite by Igor Stravinsky.

    Tuesday, November 01, 2005

    Guest Bassist

    We have a guest bassist coming for a recital, a masterclass and composer's forum on writing for the bass this week.
    His name is Volkan Orhon. Here is his website ;
    The recital is on Friday, November 4, 2005 at 8 pm in Barnes Hall. It is free and open to the public. He will play Brahms and music of David Anderson. If it is the same David Anderson. He is the principal bassist of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. I had a chance to work with David while I was the assistant with the LPO, years ago. Talking of LPO, here is an article about their recent concert with the New York Philharmonic in the NY times.

    First Cornell Symphony concert

    The first Symphony concert was on October 16, 2005.
    This was a big concert. It featured something new and something old. In David Schober's Split Horizon we featured 6 of the CSO's very own as soloists. Jennie Lavine [Education, Grad] on Clarinet, Rebecca Morrow[Communications, '09] on flute, Stephanie Chu[Human Development '10] on violin, Grace Lee Juan[Hotel Management, '09] on cello Daniel Jones[Music/Physics, '07] on piano and Peanut Wai-Ping Wong['08] on percussion. The piece was originally written for Eighth black bird, a new music ensemble of the same instrumentation. Our very own Orchestra TA, Sean Shepherd, who is also a brilliant composer conducted the Ithaca premiere.

    After intermission was Rimsky Korsakov's Scheherazade which feature Alvin Lee[Government, '06] on the famous and extremely difficult solo violin part.

    The CSO and CCO are now on a schedule of two rehearsals per week and two concerts per semester.
    Here is the poster for the concert.

    First Chamber Orchestra concert

    The 2005-2006 season is my second season as the director of orchestras at Cornell. It has been a humbling experience to fill the large shoes left by John Hsu, who retired after 50 years of teaching at Cornell.

    The enthusiasm of the students who are mostly non-music majors have been a constant source of inspiration for me.
    So far this semester we have presented three concerts. The Family Weekend concert was held in Helen Newman "Hall", as Bailey Hall is being renovated. The Chamber Orchestra gave its first concert on October 2, with the following program;

    Aaron Copland's Quiet City
    Then Edward Elgar's Serenade for strings conducted by our guest artist, Olivier Theurillat. After intermission was Haydn's Trumpet concerto with Olivier. The program ended with Aulis Sallinen's Some Aspects of Peltoniemie Hintrik's Funeral March, which is actually an arrangement of his String quartet No. 3.

    Here is the poster for the Chamber Orchestra concert.

    Welcome to the Cornell Orchestra Blog

    This will be a blog to let current orchestra members, and past alumni of the Orchestral activities of the Cornell Orchestras.
    We will bring you news from current members of both Cornell Symphony Orchestra and the Cornell Chamber Orchestra.
    I look forward to hearing from our alumni members.

    Here is the poster from the Family Weekend concert. The Chamber Orchestra shared the stage with the Jazz Ensemble 1 and also the CU Wind Ensemble.

    Copland's Appalachian Spring on four rehearsal was scary, but CCO members really came through.