Gordon in the News: last updated 03/10/2008

Gordon Symphony Orchestra Joins The College Choir and Symphonic Chorale In “A Tale of Two Worlds”

February 21, 2008    

Jessica Prudhomme
Office of College Communications


WENHAM, MA-The Gordon College Choir, Symphonic Chorale, and Symphony Orchestra will present "A Tale of Two Worlds" on Saturday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel. This show will be the Symphony Orchestra's first concert of 2008 as they join with the College Choir and Symphonic Chorale in performing Fauré's Requiem. The program will be completed with a performance of Dvorák's 9th Symphony (From The New World).

The Gordon symphony orchestra will also collaborate with the College Choir and the Symphonic Chorale on Faure's funeral mass. Special guest soloist, baritone Gabriel Alfieri, will be performing in the concert. Alfieri is a distinguished graduate student of Mark St. Laurent at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. The soprano soloist will be senior voice major, Ellen Sawyer, who was a member of the violin section of the Gordon symphony choir for most of her undergraduate years.

Currently under the leadership of James Buswell and Carol Ou, the Gordon symphony orchestra is a mentoring ensemble made up of students, faculty and friends of Gordon. James Jorgenson, whose skill as an educator and musician provided the ensemble's foundation and vision, created the group in 1992.

Buswell, a Harvard graduate, has appeared with virtually all of the major orchestras in the United States and Canada as well as with orchestras in Europe, Asia, Australia and South America. He has collaborated with such distinguished conductors as Michael Tilson Thomas, Seiji Ozawa, Pierre Boulez, Andre Previn, Erich Leinsdorf, Zubin Mehta, George Szell and Leonard Bernstein. In recital he is noted for adventuresome programming, regularly combining standard masterpieces with works that are less well-known.

A Yale graduate and recipient of the 1998 Outstanding Young Woman of America Award, Carol Ou is a top prizewinner in the National Federation of Music Clubs Young Artist Competition and the Irving M. Klein International String Competition. She has won praises throughout the United States, Canada and Asia with her "astounding tone and pitch" and her "wonderfully pure cello tone and incisive technique," according to The Strand magazine.

After countless hours of hard work and practice, Ou looks forward to performing with the orchestra in front of Gordon and the local community. "For 'A Tale of Two Worlds' my hope is that the audience realizes that we are presenting John Rutter's version of Faure's Requiem in which only one violin is used," said Ou. She continued, "It is a wonderful testament to the brave spirit of our violin majors here at Gordon. They have all decided to learn to play viola out of love for this amazing work. After intermission, you will see them pick up their own violins again to play in the New World Symphony. It is not an easy feat to go back and forth between two different instruments in the same concert. I hope everyone will appreciate the hard work that has gone into such a preparation."

In the Gordon symphony orchestra, young musicians play alongside mentors from the greater Boston area and members of the applied instrumental faculty at Gordon. Rehearsing alongside students, faculty have the opportunity to encourage and challenge them while demonstrating outstanding technique and musicality. Other mentors are young professionals who have established careers in the greater Boston area. Still others are advanced students, many from the New England Conservatory, who have been chosen for this opportunity because of their skill and enthusiasm for music performance.

Tickets for "A Tale of Two Worlds" cost $11 for general admission and $8 for seniors and children under 12. Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.gordon.edu/music. For more information on this recital, please contact Jessica Prudhomme at 914.522.6724 or e-mail . To view additional upcoming music events, please visit www.gordon.edu/events or email .

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Gordon College is a Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston's North Shore. The college offers majors in 36 fields and has graduate programs in education and music education. Leading the way in Christian college merit, Gordon is nationally ranked for its excellence in academics and its role in character building. These achievements recognize Gordon as one of the nation's top Christian colleges.