The Western Ensemble Society is a dedicated group of students from Developing Virtue Girls’ School — practicing every Wednesday at Ukiah Junior Academy with additional Symphony rehearsal from 6:30 to 9:30 pm. These long hours of practice were well spent, not only enabling them to play difficult pieces, but also offering them incredible opportunities to perform in public.
One such opportunity emerged when Mendocino College hosted the Ukiah Symphony Orchestra’s second concert of the season. On December 7-8, 2019, professional musicians from the Ukiah Symphony Orchestra — alongside students from the Developing Virtue Girls’ Western Ensemble — presented a concert, “Finnish and Unfinished,” the name of which was given as a result of the pieces chosen. The Orchestra first performed the Symphony No. 8 in B Minor by Franz Schubert, famously known as the Unfinished Symphony, followed by Violin Concerto by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. The latter featured San Francisco Symphony violinist Polina Sedukh.
Dr. Phillip Lenberg began conducting the Ukiah Symphony this year. He has brought to the rehearsals an extraordinary energy which motivates the musicians to master the difficult pieces.
The concertmistress of the Ukiah Symphony, Ms. Margie Salcedo Rice, is an accomplished violinist, vocalist, director of the DVGS Western Ensemble, and the girls’ violin teacher. She is an absolute inspiration, allowing the girls to pursue their passions in music through her enthusiastic and passionate teaching.
Lastly, a special thanks to the Ukiah Symphony board members, Dr. Phillip Lenberg, Ms. Rice, and those who took the time to attend. The girls truly appreciate this opportunity to grow and explore as musicians, and they look forward to future concerts.
Listen to tracks performed here: https://www.ukiahsymphony.org/finnish-and-unfinished.html
Edited by S.L. & S.L. (2020, 2021)
Photography by Ukiah Symphony’s photographer and Thuy Nguyen (2022)
Categories: Student Work