The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

April 11, 2013

ECU Orchestra highlights end of concert season with free performance

By MIRANDA BAINES
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER

TARBORO — The last concert of this season’s Edgecombe Performance Series is a free, afternoon concert featuring the East Carolina University (ECU) Orchestra

Dr. Jorge Richter will direct the symphony in the concert at 3 p.m. April 21 in the Keihin Auditorium on Edgecombe Community College’s Tarboro campus. The audience will enjoy “Orchestral Favorites,” including Johannes Brahms' Hungarian Dances Nos. 5 & 6 and Peter I. Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Opus 64. The concert will also highlight the winner of the 2012-2013 ECU Concerto Competition.

“They’re one of the best collegiate orchestras in the South,” said ECC’s Cultural Arts Director Eric Greene. “The caliber of the performance will be stellar.”

The full symphony is comprised of 76 musicians, and an estimated 95 percent of them are music majors at the university, said Greene, who is a graduate of the ECU School of Music. The ECU Symphony Orchestra “enjoys a fine reputation for being one of the highest quality ensembles of its kind in the region,” according to the “about the orchestra” section on orchestra’s web page. Greene said the experience of hearing a symphony orchestra live is “unlike any other.” The only amplification at the upcoming concert will be a single microphone for the conductor.

“What you’ll hear is exactly what they sound like here in the room,” said Greene.

The symphony orchestra delighted audiences in the Keihin Auditorium during a free Sunday afternoon concert at this time last year, as well. Audiences were impressed with the level of skill and musicianship displayed by the group of students, according to an ECC news release. Greene said ECC is pleased to bring the orchestra back to Tarboro once again, to give those who wouldn’t be inclined to drive to Greenville the opportunity to hear the prestigious orchestra.

The free concert is sponsored by the Furman Mathewson Trust of Edgecombe County Memorial Library. The Trust also sponsored a performance by the New York Theatre Ballet earlier in the season.

“They’ve helped us out historically. Last year and this year, they sponsored two (concerts) each,” said Greene. In the past, he said the Trust has helped ECC bring big-name artists, such as blues musicians Robert Cray and Buddy Guy, to Tarboro.

“They’re doing great things for the community,” said Greene.

In addition to traditional concerts, the ECU Symphony Orchestra performs the annual educational concert for the Pitt County Public Schools and at the Friends of the School of Music Scholarship Gala. The orchestra performs a wide variety of literature chosen from the standard orchestral repertoire, contemporary works, music for smaller instrumentation or chamber orchestra, as well as works for full orchestra. The symphony’s conductor, Richter, is an assistant professor of music at ECU. He has served on the faculties of Truman State University, Oklahoma State University, and the University of Tennessee. Maestro Richter also served as guest conductor for the Tulsa Youth Symphony, the Oklahoma Youth Symphonies, the Brasilia National Theater Symphony Orchestra, the Oak Ridge Symphony, and the National Music Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra in Amman, Jordan. He is also an active violinist.

Admission to the April 21 concert is free to the public, but tickets are required. Tickets are available through the ECC Box Office on the Tarboro campus. The box office is located to the left side of the Mobley Atrium in the T.S. Fleming Building and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday.  For more information, please call Greene at 252-823-5166, ext. 187.