Symphony concert promotes Halloween theme

Alex Sandefur

The Symphony at WKU will have its third concert this Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Van Meter Hall’s auditorium.

The concert will have a Halloween theme, and the symphony will play pieces that evoke a “Halloween-type feelings,” according to Brian St. John, WKU’s orchestra conductor.

“I want to build a season with engaging variety,” St. John said. “I wanted a unifying theme for the season.”

This season’s overall theme is It’s Time for the Symphony, and Friday’s performance is called It’s Time for a Treat!

The symphony will be performing Gioachino Rossini’s “Cinderella” overture and Camille Saint-Saens’s “Danse Macabre” along with other pieces by Hector Berlioz and Modest Moussorgsky (or Mussorgsky). 

Suzanne Moore, a sophomore violinist in the symphony, agreed with St. John and said the pieces they are performing have a spooky sound.

“The pieces all have a backstory, like an urban legend,” Moore said. “They are all dark and dreary.”

St. John said he chooses pieces by balancing what audiences want to hear with what they need to hear; he also makes choices that build student musicians’ repertoires. 

Scott Harris, the head of the WKU music department, said St. John is very attuned to his students’ needs.

“[St. John] certainly hit the ground running,” Harris said.

This is St. John’s first year as conductor of the symphony. Harris is helping to guide St. John through his first season.

The symphony will have one more concert this semester on Dec. 6. According to Harris, the symphony usually has five concerts per year: three in the fall and two in the spring. 

Moore said the symphony practices all semester long for its concerts.

“It’s nice to see everyone come together cohesively and musically,” Moore said. “It’s kind of rough in the beginning, but as it goes on, it gets better.”

Moore said the string section practices every Tuesday, and the full symphony practices on Thursdays. As concert time draws nearer, the full symphony practices both Tuesdays and Thursdays.

According to Moore, students get one course credit hour for performing in the symphony.

Tickets for It’s Time for a Treat! are on sale now. They are $22 for adults and $5 for students.