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Chamber orchestra presents 1st concert

Nov. 3, 1999

By DAVID IRVIN

Entertainment writer

The Baylor Chamber Orchestra, under direction of Conductor-In-Residence and Director of Orchestral Activities, Stephen Heyde, will perform at 8 p.m. Thursday in Jones Concert Hall in the McCrary Music Building.

The Baylor Chamber Orchestra is a very new group, said Dick Veit, director of concert promotions for the music school. It was formed to showcase the music school's finest orchestral students.

'This is the orchestra's first concert,' Veit said. 'There are 33 people in the orchestra. It is composed entirely of music school students.'

Veit said the chamber orchestra performs pieces that are not appropriate for full-size orchestras.

'Because of its small size, it can handle pieces from the Baroque and classical periods,' Veit said.

Heyde said Baroque music evolved before all of the orchestral instruments had developed. For this reason, music from the period is considerably different than classical.

'Baroque music is very polyphonic,' Heyde said. 'There is a lot of counter point and the writing is very linear, as opposed to the vertical movement of the classical period. Bach and Handel are two big composers from that time period.'

The concert list includes a work by Italian Baroque composer, Francesco Geminiani from his Concerto Grosso in D major.

'Geminiani was a really good composer in his own right,' Veit said.

Heyde describes Geminiani's piece as a contrast between the entire symphony and a small group of players.

'He wrote a number of pieces called Concert Grosso,' Heyde said. 'In these pieces you get a nice contrast between all the players [the ripieno] and a small ensemble [the concertino].'

Jeffery Grogan, assistant professor and associate director of bands, will guest-conduct one of Joseph Haydn's early symphonies, No. 22 in E-flat major. Grogan is the conductor of the Golden Wave band.

'Haydn wrote 104 symphonies so No. 22 really is pretty early,' Veit said. 'It opens up with a slow introduction, and that is how it got its name.'

Haydn's Symphony No. 22 is often called the 'Philosopher Symphony' for its slow, pensive introduction. Even before Haydn's death, this nickname was associated with the piece, Veit said.

The concert is free of charge and open to the entire university.