The Central Oregon Symphony was finally able to perform the concert it was unable to perform during the 2020-21 season due to COVID-19 restrictions. For the first time since the pandemic started, the symphony included low brass instruments for a full orchestra effect.
The concert was dedicated to a recently departed violinist in the orchestra, Maryellen Marrocco. The performance included pieces from composers Charles Gounod, Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Richard Strauss, and Dmitri Shostakovich. All pieces were directed by conductor Michael Gesme at the Bend High School auditorium.
Gesme described the return to the audience as a thirty mile departure that was finally meeting back with the main road. He and the orchestra gave the crowd a wonderful show, opening with Dmitri Shostakovich’s Festive Overture.
The orchestra followed that performance with Concerto for Oboe and Small Orchestra in D major by Richard Strauss. This performance featured Amy Kolb as an oboe soloist, and when the piece was finished the audience erupted into a long and loud ovation before a short intermission in the concert.
The concert returned from the intermission strong, performing Ballet Music from Faust by Charles Gounod. This piece included seven short movements, which are a series of short musical compositions performed in succession with pauses in between them to create a complete work. The audience got a good laugh out of Gesme showing which movement the orchestra was in by counting the movements behind his back for the audience to see between pauses.
The concert finished with Capriccio Italien by Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky. When the music finished, the audience slowly began to rise one by one from the front of the auditorium to the back with a standing ovation and thunderous applause.
For anyone with inquiries about the Central Oregon Symphony, conductor Michael Gesme can be reached at email@example.com. Previous performances from the symphony can be found here. For those interested in watching the fall concert series, it can be seen here. For upcoming events from the symphony, the Central Oregon Chamber Orchestra is teaming up with OperaBend, and is scheduled to perform on Nov. 13 at Bend Senior High School. The Central Oregon Symphony winter concert is scheduled for Feb. 25-26, 2023, also at Bend Senior High School.