Orchestra debuts May 13


Jeanette Fournier

Joseph Kneer, D.M.A., one of the directors of the Chamber Orchestra directing during rehearsal.

Jeanette Fournier, Contributing Writer

The Mercyhurst Chamber Orchestra will be making its debut in a concert on Friday, May 13, at 8 p.m. in Walker Recital Hall under the direction of Joseph Kneer, D.M.A and Rondal Scott Tomlison, Ph.D.
Both Kneer and Tomlison will be sharing the role of conductor throughout the program.
The Chamber Orchestra consists of about 35-40 instrumentalists, some of which are Mercyhurst students, while others are members of the local community and from as far away as Jamestown and Meadville.
“This concert showcases a lot of things,” Kneer said.
“We’ve got a lot of meaty string parts, and great wind parts. We’re opening with a great Rossini overture, the Barber of Seville overture.”
The Barber of Seville overture will be conducted by Kneer, followed by an orchestration by Vaughn Williams of “Rhosymedre,” conducted by Tomlison. Kneer will then conduct Mozart’s famous Symphony 40, K. 550, and then “…we finish it off with a little fun,” Kneer said.
The concert closes with ‘The Can-Can,’ or The Infernal Galop, from Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld.
This piece will be conducted by Tomlison.
The Chamber Orchestra was put together by Kneer and Tomlison this past fall.
The two worked together to choose contrasting standard repertoire that fit with what both conductors wanted to do.
“It’s so exciting for this community, for Mercyhurst and for Erie, to have something like this,” said Kneer. “It’s good for people in the area who want to play. It encourages our faculty members to play and it gives our students a chance to play standard repertoire.”
“This is the first time in a while that something like this has happened,” said Kneer.
Since both orchestras were not as extensive, professional musicians needed to be hired to fill in the gaps in previous years.
“We have very few ringers, popular pieces that are fun and tuneful and lots of energy in the group. I think it’ll be a lot of fun.”
General admission tickets are $5 and student and faculty tickets are $2.