NISO performance, partially in-person

The+Northern+Iowa+Symphony+Orchestra+performed+their+fall+concert+as+a+live+stream+from+GBPAC%27s+Great+Hall.

Courtesy Photo

The Northern Iowa Symphony Orchestra performed their fall concert as a live stream from GBPAC’s Great Hall.

AASHITA VADHERA

On Wednesday, Oct. 28, the Northern Iowa Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Erik Rohde, presented their fall 2020 concert. The performance, which featured a partial in-person audience, was the first live UNI School of Music show at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center (GBPAC) in about eight months. The show was also broadcast live on YouTube, where hundreds more tuned in to hear some live music. 

The orchestra started their show at 7:30 p.m. by playing “Kaunn,” a composition by the Hawaiian composer Michael-Thomas Foumai, who tuned in virtually all the way from Hawaii to be a part of the concert. Foumai had also interacted with Rohde and the orchestra prior to the show to give them advice and feedback on their performance of his composition.

“Kaunn” was followed by “Serenade for Strings” by the composer Sir Edward Elgar.

“It is everything that a serenade is supposed to be, which is something that we all need in this day and age,” Rohde said of the piece. “It is just lovely and beautiful ,and it hopefully just takes you to a more peaceful,
placid place.”

“It is everything that a serenade is supposed to be, which is something that we all need in this day and age,” Rohde said of the piece. “It is just lovely and beautiful, and it hopefully just takes you to a more peaceful, placid place.”

The show finally came to an end with Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 1,” in honor of the composer’s 250th birthday this December.

“This should have been a big birthday year for Mr. Beethoven, but the pandemic has sort of interrupted what would have been like a global celebration for his 250th birthday,” Rohde said. 

Those watching the performance virtually seemed to enjoy it, judging from their comments posted alongside the livestream.

Some viewers, like Sheila Benson, were just happy to have some live music. Others cheered on their family members who were part of the orchestra, such as Marinella Mulingbayan and Danielle Casale, who cheered for their cousin Tyler Darnall, graduate assistant for the School of Music.

The Northern Iowa Symphony Orchestra plans to host its next concert in February of 2021, with logistics still to be determined based on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, visit follow the ensemble on Facebook or visit their website at orchestra.uni.edu.