What's Going On at the School of Music?

(Brandon University)

For the music department, the new school year was kicked off on September 17th with the first concert in the ‘Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO) in Brandon’ series. Its commencement was a little comical from the seats of the audience; turns out some of the concert attire had not arrived from shipment. Hopefully it was not sent to Brandon, Florida and by now the musicians have their concert-wear. Despite the partial ‘casual-attire’ Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium was filled with glorious music which included Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36 and Beethoven’s Concerto for Violin in D Major, Op. 61, the virtuosic solo was performed by Brandon University’s own violin professor Kerry DuWors. The concert-attire wasn’t the only thing shuffled around, so was the order of the program.

Fortunately, Professor DuWors’ wardrobe went better than the orchestras. The passion throughout the performance was delivered to showcase how “one finds radiant happiness where inner reflection and virtuosity are sublimely managed in perfect balance elevate as well as thrill” (James Manishen, Program Notes). The classical composition featured Professor Duwors masterful technique proved that music is never the same experience as it is performed live. A magnificent performance worthy of it’s standing ovation!

Following the flamboyant solo concerto, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 highlighted more of the woodwind section, which I as a clarinetist appreciated. Being from a romantic composer, the piece offered more intense dynamics and contrasting phrases. As one could expect nothing less from a piece written to project the idea of his divorce and suicide attempt. Perhaps the minor mode was given to depress us all in the most exhilarating way.

Attending a symphony is a definite ‘bucket-list’ must have, and if I have any advice it would be to attend as a student. Symphony tickets are quite expensive; however, student’s can get in for $12.50 total with an at-door purchase. For more information on tickets and concert series dates, visit https://wso.ca/brandon/ for more details. Students do not have to be from the music faculty to get the discount, but only need to present their student ID card. While you don’t have to be as nerdy as myself and some of the other music students and sit front and center, witnessing a professional orchestra isn’t an opportunity to pass up.