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The Dartmouth
February 26, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra’s all-string repertoire to perform at Rollins Chapel

The student orchestra’s annual winter concert will showcase the musicality and technique of the strings orchestra in a unique space


On Thursday, Feb. 23, the Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra will perform its annual winter concert at 8 p.m. in Rollins Chapel. Under the direction of Filippo Ciabatti, the DSO will be playing an all-string repertoire, including Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings,” Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade for Strings” and Shostakovich’s “Chamber Symphony Op. 110a.”

Due to the current renovation of the Hopkins Center for the Arts, the winter term concert will look different than in previous years. Rather than playing Faulkner Hall, the DSO will be performing in the smaller, more intimate venue of Rollins. In order to compensate for the smaller space, the DSO is opening up the dress rehearsal performance to the public at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22. DSO will be performing its full repertoire as if it were a concert, and it promises to provide experience to the audience: the ability to observe the ensemble refine its performance.

Despite these changes, student manager Ida Claude ’22 said that student members of the DSO are excited to perform a collection of all-string pieces.

“Because we’re doing just these works for string orchestra we’re playing some really popular works,” Claude said. “Barber’s ‘Adagio for Strings’ I think is actually a work that many people have heard before, even though they might not know it by name. It’s really beautiful.” 

Concertmaster and student manager Teddy Glover ’25 highlighted the history behind Shostakovich’s unique piece, which he described as “haunting” but “beautiful.”

“The last piece we’re playing is again another chamber symphony, by Dmitri Shostakovich, who is a 20th century Russian composer,” Glover said. “That one is not super pleasing to the ear, I would say. It’s jolting, it’s dedicated to the victims of fascism and war and it is in the dedication that Shostakovich wrote.” 

DSO member Tyler Grubelich ’26 added that the concert will show off performers’ technical capabilities. 

“We are playing a lot of slower sections that try to highlight everyone’s musicality and technique,” Grubelich said. “There are really exciting fast sections, but overall it is mainly to showcase the strings orchestra aspect.” 

Grubelich said that he is also looking forward to the change in location, as Rollins will be a unique space to hear an ensemble.

“I am excited to be in Rollins Chapel because the acoustics in there are supposedly really good,” Grubelich said. “And so our sound will be amplified very well and that'll make us sound very beautiful, and I’m excited to play in it.” 

The limited size of the venue and orchestra also means that the number of professional performers that the DSO managers usually bring in to accompany students has decreased. 

“This term it’s only gonna be strings, and we have a couple of student woodwind, brass and percussion players but usually we hire a ton of professionals to come from Boston and New York,” Claude said. “Because we are playing these reduced ensembles, just strings pieces, we’re not hiring as many players, so it’ll just be a little bit of a smaller group — and a different sound.” 

Claude added that there will still be a handful of hired professionals, allowing student members to collaborate with a professional musician. 

“Your stand partner will be a professional,” Claude said. “So it’s really cool because you’re sort of learning from them and you can talk to them about their career. You sort of get to know them throughout that week of intense rehearsals. So we’ll still have that part of it which is cool.” 

Grubelich and Glover also noted that there would be a reduced number of professionals. Glover described the performance as “a little more Dartmouth.”

“Last term it was kind of building up to the final week of rehearsals when we would bring in all of the professionals,” Grubelich said. “This time we have a greater responsibility because we don’t have many professionals; we have to carry it ourselves.” 

Apart from these changes, members of the DSO said that they are excited to share their passion for music with each other and with the audience. 

“Definitely the most special thing about the DSO is the people and our sense of community,” Claude said, who has been in the DSO since her freshman fall in 2018. “We have a bunch of social events and I think that it’s a really strong group of people who really love music and really like playing with each other and getting to know each other.”