On Monday night, as part of the community and outreach program, The University of Western Australia's (UWA) School of Music and John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School (JSR) achieved a ‘Tour De Force' with the Ode to Joy concert at the Perth Concert Hall.
To celebrate their 25th anniversary JSR, in collaboration with staff and students from UWA, performed to an appreciative and enthusiastic audience. The programmed pieces demonstrated the diversity and expertise of approximately 90 musicians including the JSR Jazz and Senior Concerts Band; UWA Symphony and Wind Orchestra and 180 choristers from the JSR Senior Choir and St Paul's Chapel Choristers, and the UWA Symphonic Choir and The Winthrop Singers.
To open the evening, the students from JSR joined the UWA Wind Orchestra performing Ticheli's Simple Gifts, a contemporary piece written for concert band and choir. The Orchestra, supported beautifully by the combined schools choir introduced us to Ticheli's interpretation of spiritual practices from the Shaker religious movement. Following this the Borodin's Polovtsian Dances literally raised the energy of the audience by providing goose-bump moments during the booming crescendos and delicate ornamentation.
Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, often lauded as his greatest work, completed the evening's musical journey. This composition for orchestra and choir combines symphony and voice, and is the first and last of this kind for the composer. Thankfully Beethoven chose to include in his Symphony the setting of Ode to Joy, a poem written by Friedrich Schiller in 1785, as this provided the audience an opportunity to experience the powerful and beautiful voices of Soprano Toni Johnson, Mezzo-soprano Sarah Brittenden both staff at UWA, and the strength of Tenor Andrew Sutherland, Choral and Concert Band Director at JSR and the School of Music's most recent appointment Voice Coordinator and Baritone Andrew Foote.
Dr Alan Lourens, Head of School, School of Music was the maestro of the evening. Conducting his combined 250+ on stage performers effortlessly through the length and breadth of all three pieces, he elicited their best performance and headed a magnificent and memorable evening of music to celebrate a successful collaboration and a strong history in education.
Danielle Loiseau, Administrative Officer (School of Music) (61 +8) 6488 3994 (Monday – Wednesday)
Pip White, Administrative Officer (School of Music) (+61 8) 6488 7835 (Thursday & Friday)
Susanna Wills-Johnson, Acting Associate Director (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 5525 (Monday – Friday)