USD Community Orchestra will re-create 1799 concert The USD Community Orchestra will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the College of Fine Arts by presenting a re-creation of a concert given in 179; Philadelphia.
The concert will be at 8 p.m., Monday, Nov. 22, in Colton Recital Hall of the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts.
Standing on the brink of a new century, as we stand before a new millennium, the best musicians in Philadelphia assembled for a grand concert at Oeller's Hotel on Dec. 11, 1799. The musicians were a mixed lot. The principal players were immigrant professionals, mostly from England and France (whose recent revolution led many musicians to seek a livelihood elsewhere), who were also teachers.
Their students, referred to as amateurs (in the original sense of "lovers" of music) filled out the sections. These amateurs were members of our own upper and middle classes who were following the European tradition of using leisure time to learn and play music.
Programming was also very different, with single movements played rather than entire symphonies or concertos, Programs were highly varied. The professional musicians were soloists in movements of concertos, and vocal numbers were interspread. Composers seldom heard now were featured: Viotti, Pleyel, Gretry, Punto, and Stamitz. The country was less than 20 years old, and popular patriotic works, The Battle of Trenton, and Federal Overture, by English composers James Hewitt and Benjamin Carr will also be heard.
The concert program will contain both the historical and modern versions, and, though the original concert had an admission charge of $2 (to admit a gentleman and a lady), this concert is free and the public is invited to experience a portion of our musical heritage seldom experienced.
USD students will play the part of prominent professionals: Elizabeth Bennett will portray Miss Broadhurst, a noted English soprano. Valerie Mohring will be Victor Pelissier, famous hornist from France. Violinists Michelle Edelman and Ingrid Miller will be Mr. Guenin and Mr. Billingham, respectively, while Rachel West will be French cellist Henri Capron. Kristen Kuhn (Mrs. Oldmixon), B. J. Benson (Mr. Darley), and Brad Hanson (Raynor Taylor) will join Miss Broadhurst for vocal quartet.