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LVC Symphony Orchestra Performs Across Ireland
05.29.14 |
Twenty-nine Lebanon Valley College symphony orchestra students spent a week touring and performing across Ireland May 13-20 as part of the American Celebration of Music in Ireland. Orchestra director Dr. Hannes Dietrich was excited to offer students a once-in-a-lifetime performance opportunity at St. Mary’s Church of Ireland in Killarney, Castalia Hall in Kilkenny (at right), and St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Glasthule.

“One of the great adventures and challenges with a tour such as this one is working with and adjusting to very different performance venues,” said Dietrich, Newton and Adelaide Burgner Endowed Professor of Instrumental Music. “We were fortunate to have concerts in places with truly superb acoustics, and with floor plans that required a good deal of flexibility on the part of the orchestra. I was delighted to see and hear how quickly our students adapted to these different halls. They worked with each other, listened very carefully, and in the end, put on three of the finest concerts I've had the privilege of conducting. Our student soloists, including vocalists Andrew Ferrie and Jenna Parrilla, Matthew Ramage and Lindsay Groft on French horn, as well as Steven Christ on clarinet, wonderfully demonstrated the exceptionally high level of musicianship for which our students are known. Our premiere performances of LVC graduate Gregory Strohman's ‘Primordial Springtime’ were very well received. The full orchestra, with a program that ranged from Mozart to Gershwin, earned standing ovations for every concert. I could not be more proud of our students for their work on this tour.”

“It was such an honor to represent LVC on such a magnificent journey,” said vocalist Andrew Ferrie ’14. “To be immersed in the culture and historical aspects of Ireland was something I will never forget. Being able to share our talents in music was the greatest part.”

In between performances, the students toured the Irish countryside, visiting Buratty Castle and Folk Park in Killarney; the Ring of Kerry, a 179 kilometer road circuit around the Iveragh Peninsula; the Blarney Castle and Stone, a sacred stone at the top of castle; Waterford Glass; the Kilkenny Castle which was built in the 13th Century; St. Stephen’s Green, Phoenix Park, and Trinity College in Dublin; and an excursion to Glendalough and the Willow Mountains.

“The whole trip was kind of a surreal experience,” said violinist Sarah Marino ’14. “Everywhere in Ireland seems to be rich in history from thousands of years ago—it was incredible to think about who could have walked on the same ground I am now. Not only being there but being able to perform with the orchestra was absolutely breathtaking.”

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