Symphony orchestra gets ready for new semester

Daily Sundial

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With the start of another fall semester, CSUN Symphony Orchestra students kicked off this semester with rehearsals for upcoming music concerts.

About 65 students auditioned and joined the Symphony Orchestra this semester.

“I believe the orchestra continues to get stronger each year,” said John Roscigno, conductor of the Symphony Orchestra and director of Orchestral Studies.

Roscigno is a classical pianist, orchestral percussionist, and a composer who has conducted and performed throughout the world.

He is also the music director of the CSUN Youth Orchestras and conductor of the CSUN Youth Philharmonic.

Prior to arrival at CSUN, Roscigno was the music director and conductor of the Conway Symphony Orchestra for six years.

He was also the Director of Orchestral Studies at the University of Central Arkansas, the University of Arizona, assistant conductor of the Tucson Symphony, and assistant professor of Music at Auburn University.

He obtained a doctorate of musical arts in conducting from the University of Arizona, a Master’s Degree in percussion performance from the University of Illinois, and received a Bachelor’s degree as a double major in piano and percussion performance.

The CSUN Orchestra will showcase their talent in two concerts over the fall semester.

The first concert takes place Friday, Oct. 7 at 8 p.m. in the CSUN Performing Arts Center.

The group will be performing three numbers, “The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Kahn,” by Charles Griffes; “Knoxville: Summer of 1915,” by Samuel Barber; and a piece by Aaron -more- Vb-Symphony-2 Copland titled, “Appalachian Spring.”

The second concert takes place Thursday, Dec. 8 at 8 p.m. in the Northridge Center.

The orchestra will be performing three pieces, which include a special masterpiece written by Ludwig van Beethoven titled “Symphony No. 8.”

Israel Heller, a violin performance orchestral string major said he enjoys playing music that speaks to people.

“(The audience) should feel something, if they don’t feel something then we as performers didn’t do our job,” Heller said.

The first-year graduate student is mainly excited about playing a piece by Beethoven in the December concert.

“When you play Beethoven (you’re) really part of something,” he said.

Lisa Joseph, 19, is a senior music performance major and has played the violin for over 10 years.

This is her fourth year playing for the CSUN Symphony.

Joseph said she is looking forward to playing Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 8,” in the December concert.

The Orchestra will also perform a piece composed by George Frederich Handel titled “Julius Ceasar,” in the Fall Opera.

The CSUN Symphony is open to both music majors and non-music majors.

Fall and spring auditions were held prior to the start of classes.

Valencia Bankston can be reached at ane@sundial.csun.edu