So What Did You Do Over Break?

From left: Isaac Ward ’18, Anna Ferry ’19, Morgan Bates ’18 and Cheung Chau, director of Sinfonietta Polonia.

From left: Isaac Ward ’18, Anna Ferry ’19, Morgan Bates ’18 and Cheung Chau, director of Sinfonietta Polonia.

Students perform internationally with Polish orchestra

by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson

Three student-musicians performed in Poland over the winter break as part of a professional orchestra’s annual January tour. Trumpeter Morgan Bates ’18 (music), violinist Anna Ferry ’19 (international business & management) and violist Isaac Ward ’18 (physics) spent two weeks overseas, presenting a series of concerts in prestigious concert halls, to audiences of up to 5,0000.

The students had been awarded Kenderdine grants to join Sinfonietta Polonia on its 10th-annual New Year’s concert tour. Established in 2004 by Assistant Professor of Music Blanka Bednarz, a violinist, and Cheung Chau, artistic director and conductor, Sinfonietta Polonia has toured Eastern and Western Europe and China, collaborating with high-profile soloists and groups, including the China National Symphony, members of the Berlin Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera and the Poznan Boys’ Choir, and has invited Dickinson students to join them on six international tours.

On their first day in Poland, Bates, Ferry and Ward launched into four days’ intensive rehearsals to prepare more than a dozen works on a Spanish theme. Then they presented seven concerts featuring Maurice Ravel’s Bolero; arias from Bizet’s Carmen and Rossini’s Barber of Seville; “Radetsky’s March” by Strauss; and a suite from the Three Cornered Hat by Manuel de Falla, along with soloists and dancers from the Poznan Opera and Ballet company.

“It was exciting to perform with professional musicians,” said Ferry, who’d previously performed abroad with the Pittsburgh Symphony Youth Orchestra.

“I grew so much in the time between the first rehearsal and the last concert, and I’m so glad that I was able to experience this while I’m still in college,” said Bates, noting that because the rehearsals were conducted primarily in Polish, she had to rely on fellow trumpeters to translate—all while learning new works and experiencing her first trip abroad. “I cannot imagine a better study-abroad scenario [for me] than this concert tour.”

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Published January 31, 2017