Symphony dazzles student audience

| Gretchen Burns reporter |

While sitting in the woodwind section before the performance, Elysium Travis tuned her flute for the third year in a row.
Travis, junior in music education, was one of many musicians performing in the Southeast Kansas Symphony (SEK Symphony) on Thursday, Sept. 25. The performance was the first of the symphony’s season.
For this year and the two before, Travis says playing in the symphony is amazing.
“Not only do you get to play some of the oldest music written and experience history, but you also get to play a lot of modern-composed music,” Travis, who is also principal flutist, said.
During the event John Ross, director, introduced new board members and three soloists were showcased.
Junle Le, graduate student, on piano; Jung Hee Lee, alumna, soprano vocalist; and Justin Crossman, senior in music, on trumpet, all graced the stage.
“Junle Le was so emotionally invested into the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3 that you could feel Beethoven come to life,” Travis said. “Justin Crossman brought a different flavor with the Arutunian Trumpet Concerto. I enjoyed his piece because not everyone knows about Alexander Arutunian.”
Travis added that Lee’s rendition of Mozart’s “Nel Grave Tormento” was beautiful.
“Mozart wrote that piece when he was 5 years old,” Travis said. “It’s beautiful.”
“The piece has two different characters: a woman tormented by love and a woman in joyful bliss. Lee really brought out these two sides of love, aside from her already breathtaking soprano, this was an amazing talent.”
Noey De Leon, junior in music education and music performance, plays the French horn in the symphony and says he thought the event was a great opportunity for music students.
“I think it is such a great opportunity for students to get to work with the faculty of the music department so we get that example and precedent of what you are to do in a professional orchestral setting,” De Leon said. “I get to see firsthand how the conductor conducts the ensemble and addresses the many different issues of the group, both big and small. This is experience I can set to many different stages of my career.”
Students performing were not the only ones who enjoyed the event. Selena Gomez, sophomore in nursing, attended the event as part of her Music Appreciation course.
“This is my first symphony,” she said.
Gomez added that she was glad she attended and she enjoyed the music.
Haley Gilmore was also impressed.
“I’ve been to the Kansas City Symphony and that was a great experience,” Gilmore, sophomore in communication, said. “This was really good, too, I’m glad I came.”
Travis says that the entire performance was a great way to showcase the music department and the symphony.
“I’m incredibly grateful for the support of the community as well as the support from President (Steve) Scott and other PSU administrators.” Travis said. “It’s great when you can have so many people come together who all love and support the arts.”
Those who missed Thursday’s performance will have the chance to see the SEK Symphony again on Friday, Nov. 21, when the symphony pairs with the PSU Opera. The two musical organizations will perform opera pieces together.

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Copyright 2018