Best Band in the Land

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The University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra October Concert Recap

For many, traveling to large cities, such as Chicago, New York, or Los Angeles, are the only places one can find highly talented musicians. What most people don’t know is that there is also great talent found in smaller places, like Champaign, Illinois, home to the University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra.  This orchestra is composed of 60 undergraduate and graduate students at the University. They play a large array of pieces, including the Piano Concerto in A minor, the Mother Goose suite and Bloéro at their last concert in October.

Besides music being an old passion of mind, I believe that being involved with music in some fashion, whether performing yourself, or just attending a local concert every so often is so critical to society. Many studies show the benefits of playing a musical instrument, and I think that even in our years after we graduate high school we should still take part in some way.

Because of this, I thought it would be neat to do a piece on the University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra. I attended their October concert and met a flute soloist through an old high school friend that is a performance major at U of I. This was a neat experience because I got a tour of Krannert and the “behind the scene” things.

Outside of meeting this soloist, Melody Chau, I interviewed the director, Donald Schliecher, and a U of I undergraduate student, Kaylee Salm. Chau’s interview went good, but I have learned that I will try and avoid phone interviews as much as possible because of the static it brings about over the microphone. Schliecher’s interview went good too, but he kept the door to his office open and in the middle of the interview the heat in the hallway turned on which created background noise. Salm’s soundbite went very good because we were able to have it in a quiet spot where no one else was around.

One of the major struggles I had was with editing the piece. I wanted to do different transitions for the audio and none were really available except fades, and those didn’t always work in my piece. Hopefully next time I am able to find smaller quotes I like so that I can fade into and out of interviews with natural sound. Here is my UI orchestra script.

Overall I enjoyed this piece. If you didn’t see it earlier, the video can be found here.

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