Fremd’s orchestras and choirs collide for Fall Collage Concert


Ethan Wong, A&E Editor

The Fremd Choir and Orchestra programs held their 2015 Fall Collage Concert on Sept. 24 in the Fremd cafeteria.  The concert was led by orchestra director Marla Caballero and choir director Christina Collins, also featuring accompanist Constance Hughes.  Four different orchestras and five different choirs were featured in the night’s “collage” of programs.  Members of the orchestras and choirs ranged from freshmen playing their first collage concert to seniors playing their last.

Junior Sarah Akutsu, who performed in the Symphony Orchestra, saw many changes from the previous collage concert, and gave a unique experience to newcomers.

“With the addition of the Men’s Chorale and the Chamber Strings, this concert was very different from the year before,” Akutsu said. “ It was fun to see those who are younger and less experienced gain go through this.”

Following a short introduction from Caballero, the first featured ensemble was the Treble Choir performing a spirited rendition of Mary Goetze’s “Fire.”   The Concert Orchestra followed their performance with famed composer Brian Balmage’s piece “Afterburn.”  The one-two punch of the ominous and powerful “Fire” and the forceful and sweeping “Afterburn” drew in the audience.

The Men’s Chorale then performed “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” from Monty Python’s “Spamalot.”  The bright, cheery melody of the song as well as its humorous, sing-song lyrics helped elicit a few chuckles from the audience and even a couple of sing-alongs.  In between the end of the previous piece and the beginning of the Philarmonic’s Orchestra performance, Caballero remarked how one day at the beginning of a morning rehearsal, she ran late and the ensemble had taken initiative and played through their piece, “American Landscape” by Soon Hee Newbold, without her conducting.  She then informed the audience that the Philarmonic Orchestra would play that piece without her guidance.  They proceeded to perform the piece seamlessly all without a conductor, much to the audience’s amusement.

The Viking Chorale performed the traditional spiritual, “Shine on Me” as arranged by Rollo Dilworth and was followed by the Chamber Strings, who performed “Symphony No. 25” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  Following this performance, the Advanced Women’s Choir performed the uplifting, rolling “Zion’s Walls.”

Collins and Caballero took some time off to thank the parents and musicians for their continued support and dedication to their programs.  The concert ended with performances from the two top ensembles, the Chamber Singers and the Symphony Orchestra, with the Chamber Singers performing “Northern Lights” by Ola Gjeilo and the Symphony Orchestra playing the sprawling fourth movement of “Serenade for String Orchestra, Op. 11” by Dag Wirén.

The concert provided an opportunity for students participating in two different music departments to show off their musicianship giving newcomers and veterans a chance to collaborate.

Junior Andrew Y. Hwang, who played in the Symphony Orchestra, believed that the concert allowed the audience as well as other musicians to witness the growth of groups they wouldn’t usually be able to see.

“The collage concert lets everyone see what each group has been working on recently and how they’ve improved,” Hwang said.  “When I was in my freshman year, my group wasn’t very good but as the years went on our group and others improved.”

The orchestras have their next concert on Dec. 10 and the choirs have their next concert on Dec. 8, all in the Kolze Auditorium.