The Georgetown University orchestra held its annual fall concert Nov. 11 in Gaston Hall, featuring the debut of Brown University student and soloist Kenny Zhang.
The department of performing arts organized the concert. The department offers nonacademic music ensembles, including student groups like The Phantoms and GraceNotes, as well as academic ensembles like the GU Concert Choir and orchestra. Students participating in the orchestra are enrolled in a class and receive academic credit.
More than 50 students performed in the concert, playing classical and modern musical pieces such as “The Moldau” and “Romeo and Juliet.” Zhang, a former Georgetown student who transferred this summer but continued playing with the orchestra, performed Rachmaninoff’s “Second Piano Concerto.”
Orchestra manager and french horn player Dylan Becker (SFS ’26) said he was happy to see the orchestra grow and have a good concert.
“Our concert this past Saturday was incredible. We had an awesome turnout in Gaston and a couple hundred more viewers on our livestream,” Becker wrote to The Hoya. “This was also my first semester as an orchestra manager, so it was really awesome to see all of our hard work pay off knowing how much work everyone, including our conductors and soloist, Kenny Zhang, put into it.”
Conductor and Music Director Angel Gil-Ordóñez, who is also an adjunct professor of performing arts and led the ensemble for the last two pieces of the concert, said there are no music majors in the ensemble, highlighting how Georgetown students like to diversify their experiences.
“The GU Orchestra is an extraordinary reflection of the university values. Everybody is there because they love music and cannot imagine their stay at GU without being involved with music,” Gil-Ordóñez wrote to The Hoya. “This level of passion and commitment is clearly shown in our performances. I chose a repertoire that motivates and brings the best of all our players.
Becker said Gil-Ordóñez and Assistant Conductor Ernesto Lima Parets play a big role in the orchestra’s success, with student engagement higher this semester.
“Both of our conductors are incredible musicians and people, and they really motivate us to succeed by choosing pieces for us that involve everyone in the orchestra, challenge us, and are also fun to play,” Becker wrote. “This semester we also had the biggest orchestra that our conductor could remember. Sadly, we have some great players leaving, but we are always looking for more talented musicians to audition.”
Catherine Patterson (CAS ’27) said she knew little about the Georgetown orchestra before attending the concert to support her friends.
“I thought the concert was amazing! I wasn’t sure what to expect going into it because I didn’t know much about orchestra beforehand, but I was definitely impressed,” Patterson wrote to The Hoya. “Everyone was incredible, and it was clear that huge amounts of individual and collective work had been put in to make the performance sound as professional as it did.”
Anastacia Tremper (SFS ’25), who plays the French horn, said the orchestra and Zhang worked hard to perfect Saturday’s performance.
“They all practiced for many hours and played so beautifully during the concert. The pianist who joined us for the concerto put blood, sweat, and tears into those three movements and he played stunningly,” Tremper wrote to The Hoya.
Tremper added that she is happy to see new members joining the ensemble and creating a sense of community.
“I was proud of the way we were able to pull it all together with so many new members and faces! It was a lot of fun to play alongside my fellow peers and I was thankful for all the work that they put in to make it possible,” Tremper wrote.