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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Symphony Orchestra’s Fall Concert

The orchestra is made up of about 60 students and is an entirely strings performance: This includes violin, viola, cello and bass.
Photo by Jack Belmont
The orchestra is directed by Erik Janners.

The Marquette University Symphony Orchestra performed their annual Fall Orchestra Concert Oct. 15 at the Varsity Theatre. The orchestra is made up of about 60 students and is an entirely strings performance: This includes violin, viola, cello and bass.

For this concert, four pieces were performed. With the featured pieces were “Serenade in E” by Antonín Dvořák and “Moshpit Sabbath!” by Chris Thomas, who just wrote this piece in 2023. “Moshpit Sabbath!” takes the string orchestra and makes it sound like a heavy metal band was performing. 

Matt Waters, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration, is the concertmaster and received this position his second semester of his first year.  

“I lead the orchestra, especially my first violin section. I lead them through when we come in, different dynamic changes, different tempos and just setting the mark for where one should by playing as well as guidance for the orchestra,” Waters said. 

Waters said his passion for music came from his grandfather and had always known he wanted to play music at a university level. 

“It wasn’t even a question. I wanted to continue my music career, and I didn’t think there was a good reason to stop it,” Waters said. “My grandfather played violin his entire life and was very successful. He showed everyone, including me when I was little, his love for music, and from there he taught me to love it and enjoy it.” 

As the concert neared closer to the performance day, Waters said they start practicing more and more to prepare.  

“The orchestra has two rehearsals Tuesdays and Thursdays, which are about an hour and 20 minutes. Coming closer to the concert, we usually practice three to five hours a week,” Waters said. 

Waters hoped people were able to appreciate and enjoy the classical music, and emotions that come with it. 

“People are able to come together, listen together and have different thoughts, but at one moment all are able to have the same idea about the music,” Waters said. 

The concert is directed by Erik Janners who, prior to his position at Marquette, has also served as music director and conductor of the Knightwind Ensemble, a community wind ensemble in the Milwaukee area. 

“I worked with a lot of really great conductors in my education, and I saw the musical experiences they were able to have and the impact they were able to have on students. I felt really drawn to do the same things for students at the university level wherever I was, so it found me in a way,” Janners said.  

In order for students to play an instrument in the orchestra, Janners said, they have to first conduct a placement audition to be placed in the correct skillset group. 

“We accept all students regardless of ability level, but they perform a placement audition for the music faculty so we can put them in the right place that are within their skillset. Students pretty much play on the instrument they come in with, so typically what they walk in with is what they play,” Janners said.

Janners said he hopes those who attended can take away just how powerful live music is and really appreciate it. 

“Many students today have not been to a live music concert, particularly of an ensemble like this. When I teach music appreciation and I ask students if they have been to a concert like this, most of the time the answer is no. Hearing this kind of music live is a completely different experience than listening to a recording, it is really, really special,” Janners said. 

This story was written by Sophie Goldstein. She can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Sophie Goldstein
Sophie Goldstein, Executive Arts & Entertainment Editor
Sophie Goldstein is a junior from Glenview, Illinois studying journalism and is the Executive Arts and Entertainment Editor of the Marquette Wire for the second year in a row. Prior to this position, she served as the Arts and Entertainment Editor for the Indiana Daily Student at Indiana University. Outside of the Wire, she enjoys spending time with friends, watching reality television and playing with her dog. She is excited to begin her journey at the Wire, while exploring the stories everyone has to share at Marquette.

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