PC music ensembles come together for fall concert

David Saveanu 

Staff Writer

“Autumn Reflections,” a free-to-the-public concert that featured the Parkland Chamber Singers, Wind Ensemble, and Orchestra performing together, was held on Oct. 22 in the college’s Harold and Jean Miner Theatre.

The concert began with the chamber singers, who sang songs like “If Music Be the Food of Love” composed by Andrew Miller, “Agnus Dei” by Daniel Schreiner, and Eric William Barnum’s “Dreams of Thee.”

The chamber singers are made up of mostly Parkland students, but all members of the community are welcome to join. They sing choral songs, selected and directed by Franklin Gallo.

This is Franklin Gallo’s first year at Parkland directing the chamber singers, and he has been working with the singers to prepare for this concert, trying to choose diverse songs of different genres, different languages, and from different origins. In this concert he included a rendition of “House of the Rising Sun,” a folk song with a notable 1964 rendition by British rock band The Animals.

Gallo is trying to build up a bigger group, and is welcoming of anyone with a singing background that would like to continue singing in college.

The singers’ concert was then followed by the Parkland Wind Ensemble, who played songs like “Jupiter” by Gustav Hoist, “West Side Story” by Leonard Bernstein, and the “Mexican Hat Dance,” a traditional song of Mexican origin, composed by F.A. Partichela. The Parkland Wind Ensemble, along with the orchestra, are made up of a mix of community members and students.

The wind ensemble is directed by Jonathan Becket, whom began as a director in January 2016.

The Parkland Orchestra played last, and like the other two ensembles is a mix of non-student community members and Parkland students.

Its director, Rodney Mueller, who has been directing for three years after being a performer himself—having played for 12 years in the cello section—took the audience on a tour.

“We were fortunate to have eight [two-hour] rehearsals for this concert,” Mueller said.

With the songs performed by the orchestra, he says he tried to move through the times, and go to different locations, like the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Austria, and finish by bringing the audience back home, with songs from 1950’s Broadway.

Parkland students in need of a fine arts requirement can join any of the three groups and receive credit for playing; they can sign up for the groups as they would a class. Community members who simply have a passion for playing pay a community fee to join.

The groups play together again on Dec. 3 for a winter concert. Like “Autumn Reflections,” the winter performance will be free and open to the public.

More information on the Parkland Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and Chamber Singers, as well as the college’s other musical ensembles, can be found at faa.parkland.edu/music by clicking on “Ensembles” in the menu. A performance schedule for the ensembles can be viewed on this page.