Meadows Symphony Orchestra’s end of semester performances

Meadows Symphony Orchestra performs in Caruth Auditorium on Dec. 4, 2015. Photo credit: Rachel Gorgol

Meadows Symphony Orchestra conducted by Paul Phillips wrapped up the semester Friday night with a performance of Beethoven and Brahms. The over 80 person group performed Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 and Brahms Symphony No. 4.

“The music we play in orchestra is the best music we play,” said percussionist Keaton Box.

The performance, scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m., was slightly delayed by the continuing arrival of guests, including a large school school group that filled, the already busy Caruth Auditorium.

Phillips, the orchestra’s conductor, is an SMU alumnus. He has been working with SMU since 1996 and has worked with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and other orchestras, as well.

“Fantastic musician, wonderful conductor, and a joy to work with,” said Isaac Beu, a sophomore clarinet player, of working with Phillips.

Joaquín Achúcarro, a world famous pianist, accompanied the orchestra’s performance of Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4. SMU is celebrating Achúcarro’s 25 years at SMU in February with a concert in his honor.

The Meadows Symphony Orchestra spent three weeks rehearsing for this performance according to Michael Jones, principal viola. They practiced as a group four days a week for three hours each day.

Jones says his favorite part of the orchestra is the “community effort of making a concert.”

There is a performance rotation so every two weeks either the entire orchestra or the wind ensemble performs, giving the groups tons of performance experience.

“A lot of schools you don’t get to play very much, but this group we rotate so everyone gets a chance,” said Boon Ping Tan, a clarinet player working on his performance diploma.

The concert was dedicated to Martha Raley Peak, an SMU Meadows graduate and a generous inspiration for many SMU music students. At the time of her death, about a month ago, she was on the boards at The Dallas Opera, Meadows School of the Arts, and more.

Meadows Symphony Orchestra will perform the show again on Sunday, Dec. 6 at 2:30 p.m. Student tickets are $7 and can be purchased online.

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