Concert Celebrates American Music Legend


Gracie Woidat, Staff Writer

The annual Winter Orchestra concert featured a vast repertoire of American music and paid homage to influential composer and conductor Leonard Berstein in the Campolindo Performing Arts Center on February 13.

Bernstein would have turned 100 years old on August 25. He was known for introducing classical music to mainstream America, composing scores from many well-known musicals, including West Side Story and Peter Pan.

“A lot of [Bernstein’s] songs are pretty recognizable, so even though this wasn’t the pops concert there was still some popular music the audience would enjoy,” said sophomore violist Katie Strohmeyer.

The Bernstein set included musical scores like “Danzon” from Fancy Free, “Simple Song” from Mass, and “America” from West Side Story.

“I really liked when they played ‘America’ from West Side Story because it was very upbeat and the song itself is so iconic,” said sophomore concert attendee Jessica Darfler.

According to band and orchestra teacher Johnny Johnson, the tribute to Berstein was a “recognition of the special place he holds in our industry.”

“He was 1 of the greatest American composers of all time, and it was really great to play his music,” agreed 1st chair violist and student orchestra president senior Aman Malhotra.

Malhotra was also a part of 1 of the chamber string quartets which played Beethoven’s “Allegro Ma non Tanto” and Morton Gould’s “American Symphonette No.2.”

“We usually don’t get to play a lot of chamber music as a full orchestra, so playing that different kind of music was a lot of fun,” said Malhotra.