Chamber Orchestra Fall 2020

Vicky Carrasquillo

Pastor Jeff Leininger opened up this year’s fall Chamber Orchestra to give thanks to the musicians for everything that they do for us in these times when there’s no audience. We are very grateful for all of the hard work that they have done this semester during a pandemic where it’s been hard for everyone to get together. 

The first piece was a Beethoven classic in celebration of his 250th anniversary. The pews were arranged in a circle in front of the altar sitting far apart from each other and even playing through their masks.

The second piece, “The Nightingale” represents the late Romantic era where the songs are more meaningful. The third piece, which is also a part of this era, can be translated to “In the Room” which represents an autumn evening enjoying someone’s company. These are both very beautiful and moving pieces. 

The next set of songs were written at the same time and are in German. The fourth piece’s translation can be summed up in loving the beauties and riches and the world, but when you want to love love, love me. The next piece’s translation is about being lost in the world and losing time. Maybe even being dead to the world. 

Pastor Jeff gives praise to the first half and introduces a brief intermission while he asks the Chamber Orchestra conductor, Dr. Maurice Boyer about his time conducting and teaching during a pandemic. Dr. Boyer talks about the difficulties and challenges COVID-19 has brought to the music world, like people not being able to make it back to campus and some rehearsal adjustments. He also mentioned spacing issues, and having everyone arranged non-traditionally. There were also certain rules about how many feet away each section should be.

Dr. Boyer also talked about the challenging Beethoven piece and how he wanted to capture the spirit and feeling of the piece. There was a specific challenge of having to equate how it sounds like with more instruments, with not as many this time around. There were also advantages that he talked about, how the circular arrangement is actually beneficial in terms of how everyone is facing each other and can hear each other more easily than the traditional orchestral arrangement. 

Dr. Boyer introduced the second half and explained how the music in this part will be more familiar than the first part of the concert. It is from a French period about a woman who lived in southern France. It is very spirited and most related to Van Gogh and his artwork. 

After a very beautiful concert with thoughtful arrangements, Pastor Jeff closed with a blessing to all of the CUC community and audience. He then introduced the finale in the setting of “Canon” which is a tradition that the Chamber Orchestra closes with at CUC. 

This concert along with other performances were recorded and are available to watch on CUC’s Vimeo page at any time so that you can enjoy them well. We are very grateful that during this pandemic that we still have access to our CUC concerts via a live stream.