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Orchestrating the Fall Grand Concert

Oklahoma Christian University annually hosts the Fall Grand Concert every September. This year, the concert will feature the steel drum, jazz and symphonic bands as well as the university chorale and chamber singers.

Sophomore Olivia Roberts, who plays the cello in the University’s orchestra, said one of her favorite pieces at the concert has been challenging to learn, yet rewarding. 

“One of the songs we are playing is ‘Elgar: Serenade,’” Roberts said. “While the song has been a challenge to learn, it has a really pretty flow and is my favorite that we are playing at this concert.” 

Roberts said although orchestra can be stressful at times, it brings her joy nonetheless. 

“My favorite part about orchestra as a whole is being able to end the day by doing something I love,” Roberts said. “I like to consider orchestra as my favorite stress. It’s not easy in any way, but it brings me more joy than almost anything else.” 

Roberts said the varying groups offer a diverse list of music, so  everyone can find something they enjoy. 

“I think the most important thing about the Fall Grand Concert is the diversity the music department presents and the concert’s ability to attract all types of music lovers,” Roberts said. “There is a little bit of everything for everyone and possible new things to discover as well.” 

Sophomore Faith Gordoni, playing in the steel drum band, said her favorite piece in the concert is one of the more upbeat songs. 

“My favorite piece we are playing is ‘Jamaica Farewell.’ It’s so fun and upbeat, and it has a lot of variation, which keeps it exciting,” Gordoni said.

Gordoni said she came into the steel drum band with no prior experience. Since then, she has learned how to play many difficult pieces.  

“I love all of the people in the steel drum band,” Gordoni said. “I came in without any experience with music whatsoever, but they were super patient and worked with me. Now, I can play almost any song they throw at me.” 

Gordoni said the steel drum band aids in breaking the seriousness of the other performances to offer something fun and new. 

“We are the welcoming committee in a way,” Gordoni said. “We’re just fun and funky. I feel like we break the seriousness of the concert.” 

The University’s band director Dr. George Schrader said he is most excited about the first piece the ensemble is performing. 

“The first piece is actually the one I am most excited about. It’s called ‘Fanfare For the Common Man’ by Aaron Copeland,” Schrader said. “It’s not only popular, but extremely difficult. The whole ensemble has really been going after it, and I am extremely proud of them and can’t wait for the audience to receive what they have accomplished with this piece.” 

Schrader said through band, students find not only connections, but others with a diverse background in music. 

“The students not only find a strong network of people they can connect with [in band], but they also find out there are students of all disciplines who enjoy music,” Schrader said. “Music is one of those cultural things which can be a part of your life regardless of what walk you’re in.” 

Schrader said he encourages those who can to attend these performances as often as possible because of the culture and talent they present. 

“I want to encourage everybody as often as you can to come out and see these ensembles,” Schrader said. “They all work so incredibly hard, and they put so much effort into great, quality performances in order to connect with their audience and bring a sense of culture to this university.” 

The Fall Grand Concert will take place this Sunday at 2 p.m. in Baugh Auditorium. Admission is free.

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