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New director takes reigns of orchestra

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March 12, 2014

By Lauren Piek

 

The Whitewater Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of first year director Christopher Ramaekers, has introduced many changes, incuding an unusual soloist choice for the upcoming recital.

Recent concerto competition winner and senior Jennifer Jones is the featured soloist at the upcoming concert.

Jones will perform Camille Saint-Saens’ “Morceau de Concert (Concert Piece) for Horn and Orchestra, Op. 94,” with the orchestra.

“As a soloist, it’s just me and the orchestra,” Jones said. “In December I started to prepare and learned my solo. Horn players don’t usually win these types of competitions—it’s normally a trumpet or violin player. It’s different that a horn player gets to play the solo for once.”

Jones, a music education major, has been in the symphony orchestra since her freshman year. This will be her last concert at UW-Whitewater.

“It’s been fun,” Jones said. “We’ve had a lot of different directors over the years, so it’s interesting to see how the orchestra has changed. We’ve grown and developed as a group.”

Ramaekers

Ramaekers

Ramaekers has led the symphony and chamber orchestras and this is his first year as conductor at UW-W.

“Conducting the symphony orchestra has been really cool,” Ramaekers said. “This is a really fun group of students. It’s a great atmosphere.”

Ramaekers said he became interested in conducting while he was in high school.

Throughout college, he was fortunate enough to play under a few different conductors, Ramaekers said. Since then, he has served as a guest conductor in various states, especially the Chicago area.

The performance will be held at 3 p.m. on March 16, at the Young Auditorium.

The symphony orchestra also will perform Aaron Copland’s “An Outdoor Overture,” and Antonin Dvorak’s “Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95 (From the New World).” Copland is the quintessential American composer, Ramaekers said.

Leslie LaMuro associate director of public events, said she encourages students to come to the symphony orchestra concert.

“A Sunday afternoon concert will let students get away, get a break,” LaMuro said. “It’s almost like meditation before you have to go back to classes on Monday morning.”

Ticket prices are $5 for the general public, $4 for people over 65, and $3 for UW-Whitewater students and people under 18.

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New director takes reigns of orchestra