Reflections on Dunedin Youth Orchestra’s “Roman Rhapsody”

Last Friday night the Dunedin Youth Orchestra gave their first semester concert, Roman Rhapsody, featuring Verdi’s Nabucco and Rossini’s La Boutique Fantastique, Copland’s Rodeo, and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, with piano soloist Isaac Shatford. Unfortunately, The Wave was unable to find a reviewer, due to most of our regular contributors being members of the orchestra. As an alternative, here are a few totally unbiased comments made by orchestra members about how amazing the concert was.

33430611_2037775259597490_7482485490998837248_o.jpgImage: Isaac Shatford performing at DYO’s taster concert.

Roman Rhapsody was the first of two major concerts this year from the Dunedin Youth Orchestra. Being in the orchestra itself, it is always so awesome to hear the pieces we play sound progressively better as we rehearse week after week until we get to finally play them in our concert. This year was no different, and we got to play some really great pieces this semester. My personal favourite was seeing Isaac’s spectacular piano playing when we were playing Rhapsody in Blue. Seeing his fingers fly all over the piano keys made me wish I could play piano like him and the audience certainly seem to have enjoyed his playing too. Whether it’s mind-boggling musical mastery from our soloists or the oddly funky harmonies from our brass section, the Dunedin Youth Orchestra always brings something new, something different every time and I would definitely encourage anybody and everybody to come and find out what it’s going to be next time!                                         – Jehoon Mun, Viola and Percussion

The Dunedin Youth Orchestra concert ‘Roman Rhapsody’ on the Friday 25th of May 2018 was a great concert, with a lovely, if at times challenging programme, but that didn’t stop us from nailing it on the night. There was a decent turn out from the audience, especially considering the horrible weather that night. I really enjoyed the concert, even despite the weather, and the cold, and I hope that the members of the audience and the other members of the orchestra enjoyed it too. I personally think that we all should be really proud of our collective effort that was put into the concert, from turning up to rehearsals each week to the personal practice that everyone put in, and also a big thank you to the other members of the committee for putting in such a big effort in organising the concert. A personal highlight for me was Copland’s Rodeo, specifically Buckaroo Holiday, and Hoedown, as they were very enjoyable to play, and I think that they were a crowd pleaser due to the fun elements in them. I think that the audience reacted really well, and I think that a crowd favourite was Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, especially as the soloist Isaac Shatford really excelled himself on the night. I hope that people come to our concert next semester, as everyone, both the members of the orchestra and the audience always have an enjoyable time, and we are going to be playing some really cool pieces next semester under the tutelage of Anthony Ritchie.                                                                                                         – Lydia Ford, French Horn

On Friday 25th May, the Dunedin Youth Orchestra performed in their biannual concert entitled “Roman Rhapsody”. My personal highlight was the orchestra’s performance of “Rhapsody in Blue”, which kicked off the second half in memorable fashion. Isaac Shatford joined the orchestra early in the program and wowed the audience with truly well rounded performance – perfect playing of the famous main theme, impressive control and timing across the faster passages, and a performance of the heart-crushing slower section that could be described as masterful. Upon meeting Shatford two years ago, and putting the face to the name I had heard so much about, I already knew that he was destined for the big stages across the world. Two years on, this opinion still holds true, and his rendition of an orchestral classic was a concert highlight for both myself and undoubtedly every member of the audience, as well as a testament to his future endeavours as a concert musician. Bravo, Isaac.

 To all those who came along and supported the orchestra – thank you. Your love of classical music and willingness to support Dunedin’s young musicians is what has kept the DYO running to such a high standard for over forty-five years. Come along to our next concert on September 19th, where we will be sure to provide another entertaining performance.                                                                                                                               – Andrew Robinson, Clarinet (come along to the next DYO concert to see Andrew feature as the soloist!)