Muncie Symphony Orchestra and Community Choirs Give Fantastic Final Performance

Ohoto Credits: Melody Withers
By Garry A. Reff
 
MUNCIE, INDIANA (ENTERTAINMENT) - Saturday evening's performance by the Muncie Symphony Orchestra, the Ball State choirs, Masterwork Chorale and faculty vocalists at Emen's Auditorium was a joy to the ears and eyes. The best of Muncie's classical music was showcased at the community venue. It was a superb evening of entertainment and inspiration. 
 
A large crowd welcomed the performers with a warm round of applause to start the evening.  The program began with the full orchestra performing Beethoven's Overture to Prometheus, Op. 43 under the direction of artistic director and conductor Douglas Droste.  The auditorium was filled with musical tones and melodious movements which the audience politely received during the first portion of the concert. 
 
An early intermission allowed the students and community members to prepare for the final portion of the concert, which ran over an hour. Though the work is Beethoven’s longest, the audience seemed enraptured by the familiar music and songs and ignored the passing of the minutes. Beethoven would have been proud of the Muncie Symphony Orchestra for its stellar performance of Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op.125.  
 
The Ninth Symphony was the first example of a major composer using voices on the same level with instruments in a symphony. Music enthusiasts recognized the familiar “Ode to Joy.” Intermingled with those final moments were soloist contributions by Michael Brandenburg, tenor; Kathleen Maurer, mezzo soprano; Dr. Craig Priebe, baritone, associate professor of music and voice; and also professor of voice Dr. Mei Zhong, soprano. 
 
Andrew Crow, director of combined choirs for the event, coordinated the efforts of the Women’s Chorus, Statesmen, Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, the University Choral Union, and The Masterworks Chorale, which all truly lived up to that particular name—the voices were rich and full-toned.   
 
The fortissimo level of those full-voice choirs at the end of the performance was re-awakening for many attendees.  People in the audience realized that something truly great was occurring on stage. The applause was thunderous at the close of this last performance for the 2013-2014 season. 
 
 Garry A. Reff is a retired teacher.