Allen-Stevenson Philharmonia Impresses Through Musical Variety

The Allen-Stevenson Philharmonia aka the Upper School Orchestra gave a beautiful and powerful performance on the morning of May 9. The program consisted of a variety of pieces from around the world.
The concert opened with an additional spotlight of Jamie Resurreccion ‘21 playing “Aprés un Rêve” by Gabriel Fauré, after the French horns were heard giving an impressive recital the week before. To perform such a solo early in the morning was no small feat. Kudos, Jamie!
The Philharmonia’s first piece, “Great Gate of Kiev”, was inspired by one of Mussorgsky’s close friend’s Hauptman and based on one of his paintings in tribute, explained Orchestra Director Randy Schrade ’76. Mr. Schrade went on to describe how the program laced together music that is evocative and inspired by movement, paintings or stories, essentially recreating them.
“Farandole” followed, bringing dance and march together in a synthesis of lively motives heard throughout Bizet's overture and based on "the girl from Arles". Edward Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King” then unfolded a musical story about conflict with the Mountain King and his band of trolls to liberate one's love. From Europe, the orchestra then crossed time zone, century and ocean to two American contemporary pieces. “Engines of Resistance” by Robert Smith is a study of force/counterforce through lyrical and mechanical themes fighting each other. The Philharmonia closed with their seeming flagstaff and ever-popular “Star Wars” by American composer John Williams.
A huge thank you to: Randy Schrade; Director of the Assembly Hall Jaison Spain ’97; and School Pianist Aleeza Meir. As parent Jennifer Altman said when handing flowers to Mr. Schrade, “Thank you to Mr. Schrade for always creating such a well-thought-out program. We thank him for his patience and kindness. Our boys have learned so much from him.”

Allen-Stevenson’s distinctive “enlightened traditional” approach educates boys to become scholars and gentlemen.