Symphony orchestra unites the community

Catherine Bacus, La Verne resident and former gerontology professor at the University of La Verne, lives out the La Verne Symphony Orchestra mission of performing music written by international composers with students and community members. The orchestra rehearses every Thursday night in Morgan Auditorium. The orchestra is preparing for its Winter Concert which is at 7 p.m. Saturday in Morgan Auditorium. Admission will be free. / photo by Emily Bieker
Catherine Bacus, La Verne resident and former gerontology professor at the University of La Verne, lives out the La Verne Symphony Orchestra mission of performing music written by international composers with students and community members. The orchestra rehearses every Thursday night in Morgan Auditorium. The orchestra is preparing for its Winter Concert which is at 7 p.m. Saturday in Morgan Auditorium. Admission will be free. / photo by Emily Bieker

Alejandra Aguilar
Assistant Editor

Members of the La Verne Symphony Orchestra filled the Morgan Auditorium with melodies of classical music at their rehearsal on Nov. 20.

The La Verne Symphony Orchestra is composed of a class, Strings Ensemble, offered at the University, but it also includes community members.

The orchestra was formed in fall 2013 by Danielle Rosaria Cummins, adjunct professor of music, and has kept growing ever since.

Their mission is to inspire students and community members to work together to perform music written by composers all over the world.

“The orchestra was created to give people who may not have had previous opportunities that chance to play music together and for experienced musicians to have a new outlet for making music,” Cummins said. “We have seasoned musicians working with beginners, so everyone is learning from each other.”

In preparation for their winter concert, orchestra members have been meeting once a week to rehearse.

The musicians began the recent rehearsal by carefully arranging their seats.

Once ready, they flipped their music pages, and Emmanuel Lagumbay, ULV alumnus and chamber orchestra conductor, started.

Violins, cellos, drums, trombones, flutes and a piano began filling the room with soothing music.

“I love the atmosphere here,” said Rachael McCrary, freshman anthropology major and orchestra member. “I love everyone expressing themselves through music collectively.”

As the orchestra continued to play, the musicians’ faces intensified.

Some of the music was familiar. They played “Music of the Night,” by Andrew Lloyd Webber and “Passacalle” by Andrea Falconieri.

The less recognizable songs, “Harvest Reel” from the book “Strings Extraordinaire” and “Largo” from “Symphony No. 9” by Antonin Dvorak, were equally pleasant.

“I’m really looking forward to sharing our music with everyone,” said Catherine Bacus, La Verne resident and Symphony Orchestra member.

“People need to see what young and old, experience and inexperienced musicians can come together and create something beautiful,” she said.

Lagumbay continued to move his hands as they headed into their last song, a familiar one, “Carol of the Bells.”

They ended rehearsal with smiles.

Lagumbay reminded the musicians that their last rehearsal was the day of performance.

“Our conductor is fabulous,” Cummins said. “His patience and insightful direction are invaluable,” she said.

The La Verne Symphony Orchestra Winter Concert will be at 7 p.m., Saturday in Morgan Auditorium. Admission is free.

The Lordsburg Chamber Ensemble will also perform at the Saturday concert.

Alejandra Aguilar can be reached at alejandra.aguilar@laverne.edu.

Emily Bieker

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