UCO School of Music’s Chamber Orchestra to hold concert

The UCO Chamber Orchestra will be hosting a concert on Tuesday, 7:30 p.m at Mitchell Hall. “Shostakozartorelli: ‘We’ve Got Harmony’” will be performed under the direction of Dr. Hong Zhu, Professor of Violin and the Chamber Orchestra Director.

The concert features the finest string players from the UCO Symphony and the UCO string faculty. Instruments that are involved in the concert include the violin, viola, cello and bass.

The concert also features three musical pieces. Each individual piece was originally composed by W.A. Mozart, A. Corelli, and D. Shostakovich.

Maria Marcos, who is in her first year of graduate school as a performance major, was anxious before the fall semester about how things would work out in the music department.

She spoke about being very pleased with how safe she has felt at the university. She will be the concertmistress and the principal player in the First Violin Section during the concert.

“I was beaming the first day we had rehearsal together,” Marcos said.

“I was anxious about how ensembles would be conducted before the semester began and if they would even be possible. The school of music put measures in place to keep us safe so we can continue to make music together, in person! It warms my heart to play with others again. It’s an experience that’s easily taken for granted and it’s truly special to be share the same experience with one another again,” Marcos said.

Pictured on the left is Maria Marcos and on the right is Chazlen Rook, members of the UCO Chamber Orchestra. “Shostakozartorelli: ‘We’ve Got Harmony’” will be performed on Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m at Mitchell Hall. (UCO Chamber Orchestra)

One of Marcos’s main reasons for choosing UCO is because of the faculty and how much they care about the students.

“I decided to transfer to UCO the next year and was attracted to the academic and performance prowess of the string’s faculty,” Marcos said.

“They truly listen to their students, encourage us, and provide guidance at times when we don’t realize we need it the most. The faculty also provides us with opportunities to grow as musicians and as contributing members of society,” Marcos said.

Chazlen Rook, a senior at UCO and a Florida native, said she feels like her heart has always been in Oklahoma and her grandparents were a huge part of that. Rook will be the principal violin player in the Second Violin Section during the concert.

“I feel that I have an Oklahoman spirit through and through,” Rook said.

“I moved here so that I could have a relationship with my grandparents in Midwest City. They were a very special part of my life and still hold the dearest place in my heart. My grandmother helped me rent my first violin so that I could join the orchestra at Cimarron Middle School and my whole family has been very supportive throughout my music journey ever since,” Rook said.

Rook explained she felt different once the pandemic began and when UCO had to shut down for the rest of the 2020 spring semester.

“Getting to play in orchestra again is incredibly fulfilling,” Rook said.

“I didn’t realize how empty I had begun to feel over the months that we were disbanded until our first rehearsal together. I have a deep respect for everyone working so diligently in such chaotic and unpredictable times. There seems to have been many positive reflective moments and discoveries throughout the pandemic, and I think this arose in orchestra as well. A socially distanced rehearsal is not easy, but it requires us to listen to each other with even more intent than before and is teaching us many lessons in ensemble playing,” Rook said.

The concert will be indoors at Mitchell Hall. There will be rows of seats that will be taped off to allow for social distancing and masks will be required for all attendees.

Mitchell Hall is located at 100 N University Dr. in Edmond off 2nd Street. There will be parking available south of Mitchell Hall by the UCO Baptist Collegiate Ministries. For more information about the concert visit here.

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