The Shippensburg University Community Orchestra gathered Sunday afternoon in the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center for one of the last musical performances of the academic year.
The orchestra, comprising SU students, faculty, alumni and Shippensburg community members, captivated the audience with music composed by Edvard Grieg and Ludwig van Beethoven of the 19th century.
Led by SU director and associate professor of music Mark L. Hartman, the orchestra began with “Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16,” which consisted of three movements composed by Grieg. The piano concerto kicked up a notch with the help of SU assistant professor of music Fred Dade who stole the show on the piano.
Dade’s performance on the piano was mesmerizing. His hands seemed to have a mind of their own as his fingers ran up and down the length of the piano, jumping from one end to the other at an impossibly fast speed. Dade spent most of the performance pounding away passionately at the keys, never seeming to run out of energy even though the piece called for a lot of physical movement on the instrument. By the conclusion of the piano concerto, Dade’s efforts earned him lengthy applause, numerous hoots and hollers and even a few standing ovations from appreciative audience members.
After a brief intermission, the orchestra continued with “Symphony Nr. 5 in C Minor,” composed by Beethoven. The piece consisted of four movements, the first of which was probably familiar to every audience member through its popularity in movies and television shows. The tempo was energetic, as if replicating a race or some high-stress event. But aside from an energetic beginning, the rest of “Symphony Nr. 5” had a very romantic sound and it brought to mind a scene from the 19th century of men and women ballroom dancing at a formal event.
With an energetic finale, the musicians concluded the piece, as well as the lineup of SU student concert performances for the spring season.