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JCC Orchestra Review

[Archived from March 6, 2009]

[by Shiela Steinman Wallace]

Bravo to the Jewish Community Center Orchestra for an outstanding program on February 28.

Although it was billed as a European Getaway, the concert began right here in America with Aaron Copland’s “An Outdoor Overture.” It was a perfect takeoff point for our trip. Delightful and fresh, the orchestra masterfully handled a series of challenging rhythms and entrances to create a true celebration.

Guest soloist Patrick Meighan joined the ensemble for Claude Debussy’s “Rapsodie.” A first-rate saxophonist, with a widely varied resume that includes jazz, pop and rock as well as classical, Meighan’s precise, clear yet mellow performance propelled the orchestra to some of the best work they have ever done.

Meighan and the orchestra continued the celebration with Darius Milhaud’s “Scaramouche.” Conductor/Director Aaron Boaz explained that the title translated is “Marionette,” and one could almost see the stringed puppet dancing through the piece’s three movements. The first, “Vif,” was fanciful and playful; the second, “Modéré,” evoked images of graceful dancers; and the third, “Brazileira,” erupted into joyful Latin rhythms and harmonies.

The orchestra finished out the evening alone with Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93. Once again, the orchestra worked together well. The different sections dialogued effectively through the four movements.

The JCC Orchestra truly delivered a wonderful treat to its audience, and we look forward to more quality work like this in the future.

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