ISU Symphony Orchestra to present world tour concert Friday

Devin Wilmott

The ISU Symphony Orchestra will perform their first concert this season at 7:30 p.m Friday, Oct. 4, in Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall. 

The 80-member Orchestra will take its audience around the world playing music from all sorts of different cultures and contrasts.

The orchestra will start off in China with a piece that incorporates driving string lines and aggressive brass playing. “The Rhyme of Taigu” by Zhou Long is an exciting and fun piece that will intrigue the audience and draw them in.

After the opening piece, the audience will be taken to France. Here, they  will experience the luxurious, gorgeous and famous “Prelude to an Afternoon of Faun” by Debussy.

The piece following Debussy was written by a Russian composer during the soviet era. “Festive Overture” by Shostakovich is described as “the most bubbly and perky thing you’ll ever hear.”

“Dusk” by Brant will immediately follow Shostakovich and bring the audience home to the U.S. The World Tour will end with a latin dance composed by Arturo Marquez. “Danzon No. 2” is an exciting piece that will leave the audience in awe of what the ISU Symphony Orchestra can do.

“Its going to be a beautiful concert, its going to be an exciting concert, it’s going to be a lot of fun. The pieces will move quickly through the concert, so I think its a great event to get an idea of everything the orchestra can do,” said Jacob Harrison, director of the ISU Symphony Orchestra.

Harrison has directed the ISU Symphony Orchestra since 2009 and shares that “this group is one of the best teams we’ve fielded since I’ve been here.”

“We have students who come in from all across the state, come in from across different parts of the country, and ultimately different parts of the world,” Harrison said.

The ISU Symphony Orchestra represents Iowa State with students from more than 30 different majors across all eight colleges. 

“Music means a lot to me. It’s a release of tension, a way to channel my energy, a challenge, a comfort, and an inspiration,” said Austin Hancock, fourth-year symphony trumpet player. “The music [we play] is exciting. The size and energy of the sound 80-plus musicians create together is enthralling.” 

“The challenge of performing orchestral music at a high level and the excitement of pulling off a good concert were things I got to experience several times in my first year in the orchestra,” Hancock said, saying that Harrison was one of the main reasons he decided to become a music major. 

The ISU Symphony Orchestra practices twice a week and always strives to have an intense and successful practice.

“He’s [Harrison] often critical, but he pushes the group [during rehearsals] — which is comprised to a great extent of nonmusic majors — to achieve some pretty cool results,” Hancock said.

Both Harrison and Hancock believe the Orchestra is more than ready to present their first concert on Friday. The World Tour concert will be a fun and exhilarating way for students to connect with their peers. 

“I hope [his peers] take away an appreciation for what their fellow students are accomplishing, and I hope they appreciate the experience of hearing good music performed live. There’s really nothing like it,” Hancock said.

Tickets are $5 for adults and $2 for students and can be purchased at the door.