The University of Mary Washington’s Philharmonic Orchestra opened their show, The Music of 1812: A Bicentennial Concert on Saturday, Mar. 17 at 7:30 p.m. by awarding President Rick Hurley with the College Orchestra Recognition Award.
Orchestra Director Kevin Bartram presented the unexpected award to Hurley, which was given on behalf of the College Orchestra Director’s Association.
The College Orchestra Recognition Award is given to “somebody who is supportive of the orchestra program” and “outside the actual orchestra,” Bartram said.
Bartram nominated Hurley for the award and noted his immense support for the orchestra during his time at UMW.
Hurley received a congratulatory applause from the audience, as he accepted the award with a smile.
The concert opened with Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 7 in A minor.”
Beethoven completed the symphony in June 1812, and it was first performed in 1813 at the University of Vienna, with Beethoven himself conducting the piece, according to the concert program.
The University of Vienna concert was Beethoven’s last appearance as a conductor, since he was almost completely deaf at the time.
The piece is “the apotheosis of dance,” composer Richard Wagner said, and upon hearing it, “table and benches, cans and cups, the grandmother, the blind, and the lame—even the children in the cradle—fall to dancing.”
Since it is not customary to applaud between movements, according to Bartram, the audience stood and applauded at the end of the four movements in the piece.
After intermission, Conrad Warlick, Friends of the Philharmonic Board of Directors chairman, presented the names of numerous student recipients of endowed scholarships.
Within the orchestra, 38 students were named as recipients of various scholarships.
The orchestra continued with a musical history of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” featuring Daryl Ott, a bass-baritone opera singer who has performed in many operas and previous Fredericksburg concerts.
The orchestra began with “To Anacreon in Heaven,” the popular English song which Francis Scott Key used as the first melody to his song in 1814.
They also performed “Adams and Liberty,” an American political song written by Robert Treat Paine, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
The orchestra performed two more versions of “The Star Spangled Banner” before they played the National Anthem widely known today, including the 1854 rendition from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, and a rendition from the Civil War.
The concert ended with “The 1812 Overture,” or the “Festival Overture,” arranged by Peter Tchaikovsky, and first performed in the hall of the All-Russian Arts and Industrial Exhibition in Moscow.
High school guest percussionists filled the front of Dodd Auditorium, and the sound reverberated through the auditorium.
The overture was followed by a standing ovation from the audience.
Freshman and percussionist for the orchestra LJ Trotta spoke about his excitement for the event and said that the Orchestra has been working hard to put on the difficult show.
“I think the music is great, it’s pretty cool that we picked selections based on a theme,” Trotta said.
The concert ended with Bartram returning to the stage in a green shamrock hat, amusing the audience, and performed with Ott, “Irish Eyes are Smiling” by Chauncey Olcott.