Orchestra successfully opens season

Megan McKay, Staff writer

The Mercyhurst Civic Orchestra took the stage Sunday at the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center for their first performance of the year. The orchestra played “Haydn Symphony no. 57” and Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade” for their performance. Matthew Salvaggio was recently announced this past march as the new director to the Orchestra and has come in with a lot of experience as the founder and Music Director of Cleveland Repertory Orchestra.

The performance definitely showcased talent from Salvaggio and his musicians alike. “Director Salvaggio likes to see our progress as an entire orchestra. He likes to make us think not just about the notes, but about the style and feeling behind them,” said first violinist Mackenzie Mihalik. “He asks critical questions and likes to switch things up to help improve the quality of the piece.” Mihalik emphasized how Director Salvaggio is a very knowledgeable, unparalleled director that makes being apart of the Civic Orchestra worthwhile.

Junior Music Therapy Major Tessa Korchak is the second violinist in the Mercyhurst Civic Orchestra. Korchak mentioned how grateful she was for the opportunity to play music in a group rather than by herself. “I get to meet people from outside of the music department and others from the community who join us, as well,” said Korchak. Korchak not only enjoys being a part of the orchestra but also described her thoughts going into their performance over the weekend. “I think everyone is looking forward to the two pieces we’re playing, since we get to play the entire work and not just a movement or two,” said Korchak. “We’ve made significant progress since the be-ginning of the semester, and we’re excited to play them for everyone!”

First violinist in the MCO Mik Sciortino similarly described their role in the orchestra.“I like being a part of the civic orchestra because I am surrounded by a whole group of people who share the same passion that I do,” said Sciortino. “We all love the music we are playing, and it is fun to see how much the pieces go from us not feeling too confident to being able to play such a confident beautiful sound in just a couple of months.”

In Sunday’s concert, Sciortino and Korchak were responsible for the high notes in the first violin and second violin combined sections of the concert. “I think the rest of the orchestra and myself are looking forward to the pieces being shared with everyone. At this concert we are playing two different pieces that we have worked really hard on, so officially sharing it with everyone is exciting,” said Sciortino. Sciortino additionally noted their feelings after performing as excitement, but also simultaneously relief. The violinists described their thoughts on the performance, sharing that they believed it went well as the pieces were very difficult.

There has been a lot of positive feedback about the performance, especially regarding the first few lines of each movement. The audience was truly moved by the Civic Orchestra as they presented a spectacular piece. After Sunday’s concert, the MCO will officially start working on their Christmas music for their December concert. As part of the annual “A Mercyhurst Christmas Gala,” the Wind Ensemble and Civic Orchestra perform “A Holiday Concert Celebration” on Sunday, Dec. 4, at 4:30 p.m., in the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center. This performance promises a beautiful arrangement of festive melodies. Celebrate the holiday season to the fullest by attending “A Holi-day Concert Celebration”! As always, tickets will be available at the box office or online.