GALLERY: String Theory-WKU Symphony Orchestra performs Arabian Nights

Harpist Phyllis Sparks performs with the orchestra on Friday at the Arabian Nights concert in Van Meter. Oboist Lauren Witty said Sparks usually isn’t able to make every show but this one she was.

The WKU Symphony performed their Arabian Nights concert in Van Meter Hall on Friday. The concert featured every part of the orchestra as a solo. 

“We have rehearsed once a week for two-and-a-half-hours in order to prepare for this performance,” said Lauren Witty, oboist. “The most hectic part to prepare for tonight was Scheherazade, [Symphonic Suite, Op. 35].”

WKU faculty members Ching-Yi Lin, Andrew Braddock, Sarah Berry and Patrick O’Rourke performed in the orchestra, playing instruments such as bass, viola and violin. All Members of the orchestra practiced before the show started and again before intermission was over. 

The symphony was conducted by music professor Brian St. John. He holds a bachelor’s degree in viola performance and a master’s degree in orchestral conducting. St. John was accompanied by special guest Zachary Lopes, pianist and assistant professor of piano at WKU, who performed during Piano and Orchestra No. 1 in E-Flat Major. Lopes is an active soloist and collaborative artist who has given performances and master-classes around the United States.