Fullerton College opened its Spring Symphony concert Monday, April 18, to excited spectators waiting to absorb what the performers had prepared for the night.
Comprised of both music and non-music majors, the FC Symphony included the Winds, Strings, Brass, and Percussion sections.
At 7:30 p.m., lights dimmed and the orchestra readied into position after tuning the instruments. Under the firm, adept guidance of music director Zun-Hin Woo, the orchestra smoothly cued its start.
As the performance started, powerfully grounded notes hit the audience, demanding the focus of each attendee.
The brass and strings section particularly shone in Lance Treviño’s “The Guardsmen Suite,” where each played off of each other, notes gently tumbling over their vastly different but compatible sound. When the brass players pumped their melody with its signature brashness, the violin section would echo it, softening the edges while still allowing the brass to stand out when needed.
The woodwinds were impressive as well, occasionally piercing through the crowd with its confident ring.
Up next was a string quartet, which featured three professional musicians from Symphony Irvine and Woo, a seasoned violinist and violist himself.
Needless to say, their rendition of “String Quartet in F, Op. 96” by A. Dvorak was close to flawless. While there were several mishandled notes, the ensemble delivered tight teamwork and impeccable speed. Years of experience and passion for their art were visible in their performance, inspiring the audience to listen and be mindful.
The string ensemble, composed of six students, performed equally well, weeks of practice eminent in their clean delivery. Performers swayed or sharply jerked to each stroke, unconsciously causing the audience to do the same.
Music major Anthony Peña, violinist in the ensemble, said that there was a lot of practice involved, precisely every Monday night for about three hours.
“Without practice, we can’t function,” Pena said.
After intermission, the orchestra filed into place and took a different turn, opting to perform what Woo called songs of the “Old World.”
“I’m looking forward to the second half [of the concert], since there will be music from European composers,” music major and 20-year trumpet player, James Teubner said.
Thus, the orchestra tackled the suite “English Folk Songs” complete with three compositions and G. Faure’s “Pavane.”
“Pavane” was especially moving, with the clarinets, oboes, and flutes lending their soft, seductive tone to the center of the orchestra.
Following “Pavane,” E. Satie’s “Lent et douloureux” began with a lovely piano accompaniment, with soft, wispy violins soaring across the lingering piano notes. Performers seamlessly captured the sensitivity of this piece.
A final rendition of “Overture to Semiramide” by G. Rossini wrapped up this year’s symphony concert.
Giving their all, the performers captivated the audience once more with their bold, colorful sound and deft control of dynamics.
“Having an audience really affects them [the students]. Sometimes they get really nervous, but it’s part of the learning experience,” Woo said. “The more you perform, the more experience you have. Even the pros get nervous themselves.”
For more information about the symphony orchestra or FC’s music department, visit their website.