February 21, 2024

Westminster Community Orchestra Presents “Miniatures” on March 3

COMMUNITY CONCERT: A world premiere is among the pieces at the upcoming performance by the Westminster Community Orchestra, in the Cullen Center on the Westminster campus.

The Westminster Community Orchestra (WCO), conducted by Ruth Ochs, will present a concert titled “Miniatures” on Sunday, March 3 at 3 p.m. in Hillman Hall, in the Cullen Center, on the Westminster campus, Walnut Lane.

The program will feature the world premiere of Kathleen Scheide’s “Pluck” with The Guitars of Westminster Conservatory, Mark Johnstone, director. The concert will also include Westminster Conservatory students Cherie Xu, clarinet; Alison Varra, mezzo-soprano; and Julianna Wong and Tanvi Patil, sopranos.

A student of Kenneth Ellison, Xu will play Weber’s Concertino for Clarinet and Orchestra.

Varra, who studies with Dauri Shippey, will perform Purcell’s “When I am Laid in Earth” from Dido and Aeneas and “Che farò senza Euridice” from Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. Wong and Patil are coached by Danielle Sinclair, and will sing “But ere we this perform” from Dido and Aeneas.

The WCO will also perform Piazzolla’s “Libertango” for string orchestra, “Nocturne” from King Christian Suite by Sibelius, “When I can Read my Title Clear,” (traditional), and selections from Grieg’s Lyric Suite.

Scheide is a composer, teacher, organist, and early keyboard soloist who has performed throughout the world. The WCO previously premiered her compositions Concertino for Autumn and Echo for Guitars and Orchestra, also featuring Mark Johnstone and The Guitars of Westminster Conservatory. Johnstone has over 30 years of teaching and performing experience. The Guitars of Westminster Conservatory offers classical guitarists the opportunity to play and perform a variety of music from the Renaissance to the 21st century.

Now in her 19th season as conductor and music director of the Westminster Community Orchestra, Ochs has led the group in performances of major orchestral and choral-orchestral works, including symphonies by Beethoven, Brahms, Haydn, Mozart, Saint-Saëns, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky. Under her leadership, the orchestra continues to feature ensembles and soloists from the Westminster Conservatory and highlight works by local and under-represented composers. She is currently a senior lecturer in the Princeton University Department of Music, where she is in her 22nd season as the conductor of the Princeton University Sinfonia.

A suggested admission of $10 cash will be accepted at the door. Audience members requiring seating assistance should arrive at 2:30 p.m. Visit Rider.edu/events for more information.