Time to Face the Music

Written by Hillary Tran (Class of 2023)
Photos by Erica Lai (Class of 2024) and Amy Liu (Class of 2023)

On February 18, the DVGS sophomores, juniors and seniors went to see (or in this case, listen) and support two of their classmates, Isabella Akin-Paz (Class of 2026) and Katherine Wang (Class of 2024), in the Ukiah Symphony Orchestra Concert.

Suite from Pelléas et Mélisande (Gabriel Fauré)

A grandiose beginning to the concert, Suite from Pelléas et Mélisande by Gabriel Fauré covered a full range of emotions. From delicate riffs to rich basses, the piece was deeply moving with outstanding oboe and flute soloists. Written for a play, the piece explored feelings of discovery, short-lived happiness, and lamented grief.

Carmen Suite No. 1 (Georges Bizet)

Reflecting the impassioned stereotype of Spain, Georges Bizet, a Frenchman, composed his interpretation of a nineteenth-century Spanish romance through Carmen Suite No. 1, capturing its dramatic plot twists. Fast-paced and riveting, the rhythms kept the audience on their toes, while the harp and woodwind solos brought shifts to the piece. Towards the end of the suite, the famous Toreador Song had a few audience members humming to its recognizable tune.

The Composer is Dead (Nathaniel Stookey)

Laborious violins, underrepresented violas, brooding cellos, lulling double basses, chirpy flutes, sneaky clarinets, deflective bassoons, skeptical oboes, patriotic trumpets, outlandish French horns, dazed trombones, a lethargic tuba and harp, and exhausted percussions— The Composer is Dead has it all. A narrator-orchestral composition, Lemony Snicket and Nathaniel Stookey brought an orchestra to life through a spine-chilling murder mystery narrated by Roseanne Wetzel, who added the perfect amount of drama and humor to the piece. A suspicious inspector and contrasting styles poked fun at instrumental stereotypes and played out a wonderful, but unexpected murder reveal.

Having enjoyed the orchestral pieces, conducted by Phillip Lenberg, the concert concluded with cheers and laughter in the audience. It was an amazing experience and an equally sensational performance by the Ukiah Symphony Orchestra.