UCO Symphony and Chamber Orchestra host concert Thursday

In honor of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, the UCO Symphony Orchestra along with the UCO Chamber Orchestra is hosting a concert Thursday at 7:30 at the Nigh University Ballroom A.

The concert will feature the first and last movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2, the Finale of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, and Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 8.

Solo performers will feature UCO students Chazlen Rook, Sam Powell and Maria Marcos. Rook and Marcos will be on violin while Powell will be on cello.

The concert will be under the direction of Dr. Ralph Morris who has been a faculty at UCO since 1991. He directs the UCO Symphony Orchestra along with teaching viola and chamber music.

Chazlen Rook, who is a senior music student and violinist at the university, shares the joy of performing under Morris and shares what he has to offer at UCO.

“We are fortunate to be led by the baton of Dr. Morris, who has had orchestral experience that many of us dream of,” Rook said.

“He has an encyclopedic mind and offers some of the most valuable classes available to string players, such as Chamber Music, String Pedagogy, and String Literature. His specialization in historical performance is something particularly unique, which enriches the early music program that is growing here,” Rook 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)

Maria Marcos, a violinist at the university and first year graduate student, talks about the rehearsal process and the changes that have been made to the concert due to COVID-19.

“Unfortunately, Mitchell Hall’s stage isn’t large enough to accommodate the amount of players we have,” Marcos said.

“So we will be performing in the NUC ballrooms which should allow enough space for both the orchestra and audience members with protocols in place to keep everyone safe. The rehearsal process for this concert has been quite unique. To allow for proper distancing, the strings and winds have rehearsed separately with only some rehearsals for a small group of strings to play with the winds and brass,” Marcos said.

Marcos and Rook also performed in the previous concert “Shostakozartorelli: ‘We’ve Got Harmony’”. Both of the musicians talk about the success of the concert despite having to follow COVID-19 protocols.

“I am so pleased with how the performance went and I’m incredibly proud of everyone who was on that stage,” Marcos said.

“Despite the challenges of performing farther apart, everyone tuned in to each other to present a live music performance we had fun with and the audience enjoyed,” Marcos said.

“Our last Chamber Orchestra concert demonstrated a new level of trust and musicianship among the performers,” Rook said.

“Everyone’s hard work payed off and had us beaming on stage after the silence following our last note was broken by the applause from our audience. Having this experience creates an exciting momentum into our next concert, which will be more grand in scale and more colorful in timbre,” Rook said.

Admission to the concert is free. The concert will have a safe environment including social distancing and a mask requirement for everyone in attendance.

The Nigh University Center is located on the south side of campus off of 2nd Street and East Main Street. There will be parking available in the visitor parking lot east of the Nigh University Center. Ballroom A is located on the third floor.

For more information on the concert, visit here.

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