Review: Arapahoe Philharmonic’s ‘Celestial Waters’

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Review: Arapahoe Philharmonic’s ‘Celestial Waters’

Image via Arapahoe Philharmonic

Image via Arapahoe Philharmonic

Image via Arapahoe Philharmonic

Tabitha Waite, Reporter

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I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived at Mission Hills Church for the Arapahoe Philharmonic’s ‘Celestial Waters’ concert on Friday, February 12. The church was massive, but upon entering it was easy to see where the concert would be held. The seats were much like theater seats and were surprisingly comfortable.

Before the concert began, there was a talk given by the conductor, Devin Patrick Hughes, and their guest violinist, Gregory Walker. They discussed Brahms life and works in detail, as he was the first composer they were to play that evening. Walker himself had an interesting background. His father was George Walker, the first African-American to win a Pulitzer Prize in music. Gregory, also very talented like his father, had composed many of his own pieces, including a rotating orchestra titled “Glitch”.

Because this was my first time attending a classical concert, I was able to keep my mind open about what to expect. The audience was comprised of those ranging from children to seniors of the community – a much wider range than I had thought there’d be. Both pieces of music were enjoyable, but there were specific movements within each piece that I preferred more than others. Each movement built up until the final movement within each piece. These were faster and more upbeat, with many twists and turns.

The first piece was a famous concerto by Johannes Brahms called ‘Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77’. This piece puts on display not only the talents of the philharmonic, but also the incredible skill of Gregory Walker. Walker was first and foremost a violin virtuoso, but he also provided an element of entertainment through an exuberant personality. The final movement, ‘Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo vivace’, was the most lively and entertaining of the three movements.

There was an intermission after the first piece, where the audience was provided cookies and water. This refreshing break allowed everyone to stretch their legs after sitting in their seats for an hour. It also made the next piece all that more enjoyable.

The second piece was ‘La Mer (The Sea)’ by Claude Debussy. His goal was to have the listener see, feel and experience the sea, rather than just imagining the sea. The Arapahoe Philharmonic did this piece justice with its emotion increasing in each movement. They utilized instruments they had not used in the first piece, such as the harp and various percussion instruments. This gave an overall effect of richness and depth that played to the soul. There were times that I even sensed I was truly at the sea. When this piece was completed, I felt like I had just finished listening to a movie soundtrack.

I’d highly recommend visiting other Arapahoe Philharmonic concerts.

Mission Hills Church, 620 SouthPark Drive, Littleton 80120, is hosting two more of the Arapahoe Philharmonic’s concerts on March 18, and May 13. ACC students can buy tickets for only five dollars each, instead of the normal $30.

For more information, contact Dr. Hidemi Matsushita by email hidemi.mat[email protected] or by phone 303-797-5867.

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