By Olivia Gard
Ames247 Staff Writer
On Friday, the ISU Symphony Orchestra will hold its last concert of the semester in the Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m. The concert will include two classic works: Vaughan Williams’ “Fantasia on a theme” by Thomas Tallis and eight to nine dances by Tchaikovsky from the second half of “The Nutcracker Ballet.”
There will be two violinist concert masters, which is one more than usual since “we move around [due to several separated sections in Vaughan Williams]” said Kaitlyn Chase, one of the concert masters.
These layered sections in the piece are made up of a large orchestra, a second, smaller string group of nine players and an even smaller quartet playing parts over and within one another. It was originally written to be played in an echoing stone cathedral, but it will have comparable sound because of all the layers in it, said Jacob Harrison, director of the orchestra.
“Vaughan Williams is a very emotional piece. It’s a very resonant piece for individuals,” said Harrison. “The Nutcracker is very emotional for people but in a different way.”
After “Fantasia on a theme,” audience members may have visions of “The Nutcracker Ballet” dancing in their head as the orchestra plays the characteristic dances from it. In the ballet, these dances take place when the nutcracker transforms and transports the young female protagonist to “The Land of Sweets.” The dances represent various nationalities, Harrison said.
“The tunes in it are things everybody knows, everybody grew up with, but it’s also just wonderful writing for the orchestra,” said Harrison.
Solo parts will be distributed and performed in various sections of instruments, including strings, brass, percussion and wind. It is unusual for percussion players to be featured, and a tambourine player will perform a fast-paced part in the Russian dance piece, said Lee Plummer, percussionist in the orchestra.
The Celeste, an instrument that looks like a small piano, will also be a unique addition to the concert as it makes its “first big breakout,” said Harrison.
Plummer advises audience members to get to the concert early, because orchestral concerts in the recital hall are oftentimes sold out, and the Nutcracker’s popularity in the holiday season may create additional traffic for the concert.
“It doesn’t get much more holiday than The Nutcracker,” Plummer said.
ISU Orchestra Nutcracker Concert
When: Friday, Dec. 2 7:30 p.m.
Where: Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall, Music Building
Cost: $2 Students, $4 Adults