Monday, November 23, 2009

Busy Night at the Hopkins Center

The Hopkins Center for the Arts was the place to be on Saturday night, as both the Spaulding Auditorium and Moore Theater were host to significant student performances. The Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra performed gave its fall concert in a sold-out Spaulding Auditorium, while the Dartmouth Theater Department gave the penultimate performance of its fall musical production, Rocky Horror Show, in the 480-seat Moore Theater.
I attended the Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra performance. I really enjoy the symphony and have fond memories of being a ticket subscriber for a major metropolitan orchestra before moving to the Upper Valley. This would be my first DSO concert, and, having listened only to professional ensembles in recent memory, I was not sure what to expect in terms of musical quality or audience support.
There was a great energy to the room as I settled into my seat in the sold-out 900-seat concert hall. An impressive number of Dartmouth students had purchased discounted $5 tickets to listen to their peers perform, but the turnout from the community was amazing. This was truly a "night out at the Symphony" for the Upper Valley community and, while smaller in scale, it had every bit the buzz of a major metropolitan orchestra concert.
The orchestra gave a splendid, pleasing performance featuring works by Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich before a rousing performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 in C Minor (I confess that it was Beethoven's 5th that prompted me to attend the show). The Orchestra was joined by Bonnie Thron, principal cellist of the North Carolina Symphony (and NH native) for Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1. Overall, the quality of the musicianship was magnificent.
During the intermission, I ran into an admissions colleague who was seeing Rocky Horror Show just down the hall from the Symphony concert. We agreed it was a great night for the Arts at Dartmouth. There are myriad ways that Dartmouth students seriously persue their artistic interests at the College, and, importantly, appreciative audiences to take it all in.

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