Symphony of the Mountains Returns to Emory & Henry

Robins McIntosh, News Writer •

On Friday, January 26, the orchestral group Symphony of the Mountains played at the McGlothlin Center for the Arts (MCA). The event was open to students and the community alike, and featured unique arrangements of three different symphonies. The non-traditional orchestra was comprised largely of string instruments such as violins, violas, cellos and double basses, however there were also drums, French horns and flutes behind the strings section.

The performance began with Fugue a la Gigue in G major composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. This was followed by Symphony No.5 in D major, composed by Felix Mendelssohn and concluded with Requiem of the Living composed by Dan Forrest. There was a short 10-minute break between the second and third symphony. The symphonies had five acts each.

Music Director Cornelia Laemmli Orth conducted the orchestra. Orth appears regularly on television and has been the music director for Symphony of the Mountains for 12 seasons, according to the organization’s website. She has had extensive experience conducting and directing in both Appalachia and Europe. According to Orth’s professional bio the conductor “convincingly combines the classical-romantic tradition of her old world origins with the unique American flavor that her international background and extensive working experience in her adopted country has provided her and is a sought-after guest conductor in the USA and in Europe”.

One of the talented musicians playing in the orchestra was the accomplished violinist Lucia Kobza. According to the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) website, Kobza “started playing violin at the age of 4, and entered the Bern University of the Arts at the age of 16 where she graduated with honors with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music performance.

The performance made a significant impact at least one member of the audience. Senior Noé Amellal, an Emory & Henry student and avid pianist said “ the performance is phenomenal” and that classical music “transports me to another world.”

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