UMPI got a treat on Sunday night, Nov. 12. The Northern Maine Chamber Orchestra members put on their annual fall concert in front of a very eager audience. It took place at 7 in the multi-purpose room of the Campus Center. The ensemble performed several pieces, from a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem to the “1812 Overture.” It is sure to be a night that many will remember for years to come.
One of the unique things about this orchestra is that it is made up of musicians of all ages, from pre-teens, to high school students, to adults. They all come together to make music that is lively, beautiful and that catches the listeners’ ears and holds them spellbound.
The orchestra opened the concert with the “Star Spangled Banner,” their own rendition arranged by John Simonoff, one of the group’s members. Kevin Kinsey, the conductor, invited the entire audience to stand up for the opening number. “Given everything America is going through, why don’t you stand right up,” Kinsey said. This was a great way to incorporate unity into the atmosphere and was a patriotic nod to our country.
The group kept the night going with several lively performances, including a string quartet, led by Suzanne Herold, first chair, first violinist for the orchestra. She announced the number, laughingly adding, “You have to pretend you’re hearing birds,” referring to the bird-sounding nature of the piece.
The night ended with a powerful performance of the “1812 Overture,” which the audience gave a standing ovation. Kinsey looked very pleased as he announced, “Unfortunately, our fun for the evening is done.” He thanked the audience for coming as everyone clapped one last time before heading home.
The audience members seemed to really enjoy the concert. Elizabeth Hewitt, a sophomore at UMPI, had some very positive things to say about it. “The music was epic,” she said. She added how much she liked the “American Salute.” “That one was my favorite,” she said.
The night provided everyone with a chance to put aside cares and worries for an hour and enjoy great music put on by a group of extremely talented people. Hopefully, UMPI’s campus will be home to many more concerts from the Northern Maine Chamber Orchestra in the future.