Josh Falcone – General Assignment Reporter –
Every year the Hamden Symphony Orchestra collaborates with local musicians to help a local charity. After the destruction of Hurricane Sandy destroyed millions of lives in the Northeast three weeks ago, the orchestra wanted to help out. So this year the Hamden Symphony Orchestra along with Southern music department director Jonathan Irving performed a concert to raise funds for the American Red Cross, and the areas devastated by Sandy.
“All the admission from tonight’s performance will be going to the American Red Cross,” Irving said. “And will be used to help all those affected by Hurricane Sandy.”
The Hurricane Sandy Benefit Concert was held in the Adanti Student Center ballroom last Thursday night. The concert consisted of three numbers. The symphony began the program with “Promenade” from Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky’s “Picture at an Exhibition.” “Promenade” resembles traditional Russian folk songs and has a constant strong rhythm, and switches back and forth between bliss and despair. Irving then accompanied the symphony on Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major.” Irving set up the performance by giving some background information on the piece, including that Mozart wrote it over two years before completing it in 1786; and that it is one of the most popular of Mozart’s 27 concertos.
Following the concerto, the Hamden Symphony Orchestra music director Vesna Mehinovic said that the third and final composition of the night, “Polonaise” from Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s opera “Eugene Onegin” was dedicated to Dr. Louis “Lou” Fierman, a Hamden Symphony Orchestra French Horn player and a past symphony president who passed away last Wednesday.
Mehinovic said, “I wish he was here, but he unfortunately is not.”
In addition to the concert the Hamden Symphony Orchestra also held a silent auction with all the proceeds going to help support the symphony.
The Hamden Symphony Orchestra marks their 51st season this fall. The symphony is a 50 member group from the Greater New Haven area and their members include a mix of doctors, teachers, as well as students and faculty from universities in the local region.
The Hamden Symphony Orchestra was founded by Ruth Brooks in 1962, and she continues to perform with the group today. According to the group, the orchestra presents a cultural enrichment to Hamden and the neighboring communities via the orchestras’ series of concerts, scholarships, competitions, annual benefit concerts and the experience it offers local musicians and soloists.