Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra

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By Chantell Cosner

Voice Staff Writer


The Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Assistant Professor Leandro Espinosa, performed in Loso Hall’s McKenzie Theater on Saturday Nov. 12.

A lecture, hosted by Eastern Oregon University student Tim Brown, was held before the Orchestra’s performance.  Brown commented on the music that was to be performed later that evening.

Before the concert, President Bob Davies presented an award of appreciation to Espinosa. Davies said that the award was in honor of Espinosa’s remarkable contributions to EOU. “Here at EOU we have a faculty that is world renown,” he said. Espinosa thanked Davies and the audience. “I must emphasize that am very proud of our orchestra,” he said.

The Orchestra’s performance was comprised of three pieces including Vivaldi’s “Credo”, Randall Thompson’s “Frostiana” and Beethoven’s “Syomphony No.6 in F Major” or “Pastorale”.  “Frostiana” and “Credo, RV 591” also featured performances by the Baker City Community Choir.

The music began with Thompson’s “Frostiana”.  Brown said the piece was based on poems by Robert Frost.  The piece featured four movements, each a different one of Frost’s poems.

These included, “The Road Not Taken”, “The Pasture”, “A Girls Garden” and “Choose Something like a Star”  “Frost’s poems are relatively simple,” Brown said, and because of this the music echoed that simplicity. According to Brown, Thompson had written “Frostiana” for the bicentennial of Amherst, Massachusetts. This was because of Frost’s association with the town.

The second piece of music was by Antonio Vivaldi, an Italian composer.  Brown said that Vivaldi “entered the priesthood in his 20s, and he was called the red priest because of his red hair.” Vivaldi was an incredibly productive composer. “He wrote 700 pieces in his lifetime,” said Brown.  “Vivaldi ran of the church in the middle of saying mass to write down a melody he didn’t want to forget,” he said.  Vivaldi’s “Credo” was divided into four movements as well. Brown noted that the two outer pieces were faster and balanced out the two inner slower movements.

After the intermission the Orchestra performed Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 6”. This particular piece was comprised of five movements and lasted about 40 minutes.  Brown said that five movements was uncommon for the era and that Beethoven, “extended the potential of the symphony” by going against the trend.  He said that this piece “ties in well with Randall Thompson because of its connection to nature.”  According to Brown, Beethoven was a lover of nature and would often take walks and carry his composition pad with him for writing down any musical inspiration. Each movement has a title which reflects this theme of nature; for an example the second movement is titled, “Scene by the Brook” and the fourth, “Thunderstorm”.

The concert was engaging and the audience responded with resounding cheers at the end of “Symphony No. 6.”  The Orchestra’s next performance will be at the Holiday Music Fest on Dec. 3 and 4 in the McKenzie Theater.

Professor Espinosa and President Davies









To learn more about the Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra visit or call 541-963-6908.

EOU Drum Line


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