Chamber Concert

Cy Burchenal, Staff Reporter

Earlier this month, Whitman’s orchestra and Chamber Singers choir traveled to Boston to perform at the College Orchestra Directors Convention. As two largely parallel musical groups, the choir and orchestra do not often get the opportunity to travel and interact with one another. I spoke with orchestra member Erin Cunningham ’20 and choir singer Matt Bihrle ’20, who shed some light on their experiences in Boston.

Contributed by Yunn-Shann Ma
A variety of musical talents were celebrated during the concert in Boston.


What brought these Whitman ensembles to Boston to perform?


Matt Bihrle: Last year the choir and orchestra performed Mozart’s “Requiem.” We recorded that performance and sent it in as an audition tape to perform at the College Orchestra Directors Convention. We were selected as one of the groups, and we were selected as a performance at the convention.


Erin Cunningham: We were the opening performance for CODA. All the directors from all around the country are in this organization, and we were selected to begin their conference.


What do you think that Whitman performers got out of the trip?


MB: It’s always a cool opportunity to collaborate between the choir and the orchestra. It’s something that takes a lot of manpower, so it doesn’t happen very often. The choir and the orchestra really came together as a community by the end of the trip, which was great to see. Whenever there’s a trip like that, there’s always bonding that happens.


EC: Overall I think it was beneficial because we got to bond as a group. The orchestra isn’t always super bonded, but we all got to go to a place together. Performing in a different city, it felt like we were reaching beyond what we had in the past.


Were there any challenges that came along with that?


MB: Dr. Luongo, the orchestra director, directed one of the pieces we sang as a group, and Dr. Canaday directed the other. I think there was a little bit of getting used to a new director and a different style; you just get so used to the way one person works. That was an interesting challenge. From the choir side, the orchestra makes a lot of noise, so we had to be really confident in our parts.


Is there anything you’d like the average Whitman student to know about the orchestra or Chamber Singers?


EC: We have three performances a year; you guys should come. The next one is on May 3.


MB: They’re both wonderful opportunities, both designed for people who want to be involved and play music, but you don’t have to be so serious about it to where your whole life revolves around it. It’s super accessible, and come see the concerts. We love having people.