By Shane Hisner
To me, it seems odd that I would even have to make a case for this. Tickets to most good orchestras cost more than any of us would be willing to pay, yet, about once a month in Finney Chapel, a fleet of musicians that could be appropriately called the future of American classical music plays for free. This post comes a little late for those hoping to catch them this semester; they played just last week. Listed below are a few reasons you should go see them every time they play:
- 1. They play with some of the world’s best musicians. Just last spring, associate professor Yolanda Kondonassis, renowned as one of the world’s premiere harpists, played with the Orchestra. This semester they’ve played with world-class virtuosos Jeremy Denk and Lee-Chin Siow on the piano and violin.
- The bass section. Led by first chair Adam Bernstein, Oberlin’s bass section has been spot on every time I’ve see them. Upholding the stereotype that bassists are often the most raucous and colorful members of an orchestra, these guys play with a lot of emotion.
- Because our sports teams are no good. Let’s face it: In the way of athletics, Oberlin doesn’t have much to take pride in. Sure, you should hike to North Fields and see Oberlin’s most successful team, the cross country team, when they have their one home meet in the fall, but beyond XC there isn’t much winning going on. Outside Indiana University and maybe a couple other Big Ten schools, we have the best musicians in the Midwest. Let’s mark that up as a win.
- They play fun songs. Their last line-up included Vaughan Williams’s “The Lark Ascending,” Gerschwin’s “Cuban Overture,” and pieces of Leonard Bernstein’s score for West Side Story.