Orchestra debuts new conductor


Leighann Sallick photo

The Chamber Orchestra, led by Jonathan Moser, rehearsing for their upcoming concert.

Caitlyn Lear, Staff writer

On Dec. 9, the Mercyhurst Chamber Orchestra will perform their winter concert.
The performance will take place at 8 p.m. in Walker Recital Hall and will be free and open to the public.
The Orchestra has 35 members—some are Mercyhurst students and some members of the community.
The ages of performers range from middle schoolers to retirees.
Members come from all walks of life—anywhere from chaplain to postal service supervisor.
This is their second concert as a community orchestra.
“The community orchestra isn’t common; it’s innovative,” said Jonathan Moser, director. “It really solidifies the ‘beyond the gates’ idea.”
There are no other community orchestras in the area. One member even drives down from Jamestown, New York to be a part of the orchestra.
The orchestra has four sections: woodwinds, strings, brass and percussion.
The concert will include three works.
When creating the program, Moser wanted to choose the types of pieces that the students would most likely encounter when taking part in future ensembles.
The first is Mozart’s Idomeneo Overture. This piece is the instrumental introduction to the opera and has a mystical component to it.
It foreshadows what happens in the rest of the opera and ends in a state of unrest.
The second piece is Weber’s Clarinet Concerto No. 2 in E flat major.
Rebecca Wunch, M.M., will be the featured clarinet in the concerto.
Moser allowed Wunch to choose the piece.
He had asked her if she were interested in performing a clarinet concerto, as she is the clarinet instructor on campus.
In a normal concerto, the instrument being featured is normally a part of the orchestra as well.
This piece is unique because the clarinet is left out of the orchestra.
The third piece is Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2.
“Beethoven has three stages in his career and this is from the early period,” Moser said.
Moser chose the second symphony because it has a classical component and the second fits the instrument availability within the orchestra.
This will be Moser’s first concert at Mercyhurst with the orchestra.
He participated in the faculty collage concert, Michael T. Victor’s inauguration and the Mercyhurst Prep gala.
“The opportunity to be in the orchestra is an additional learning experience for the students.
They get to learn from those that perform but have pursued other careers,” Moser said.