Dover Orchestra Concert Recap


At 7:30 pm on October 15, Dover High School, normally dormant at this time of night, was filled with angelic sound. But where was this sound coming from? Was it a recording? A traveling mariachi band or angels themselves? No, it was the Dover Orchestras! Okay, so if one has not heard yet, the Tuesday of October 15 was the first Dover Orchestra concert of the school year. If you missed it, a run down of what happened is just what you need.

As is traditional for the Halloween orchestra concerts, all of the performers came dressed in spooktacular garb. From grim reapers to giant cowboy cacti, the stage was flooded by colorful and spooky characters to really get one in the Halloween spirit.

Personally, my favorite costume was donned by Devin Swiger, the High School Orchestra’s lead bassist. Essentially, Devon’s costume consisted of a blow-up centaur body, horse legs and all. However, I’m getting off track, so if you want to take a look at the costumes, go check out the photo gallery associated with this article. However, in the meantime, we should get back to the musical contents of the concert.

As one may be aware of, the entirety of the Dover School District String Orchestra is separated into 5 groups, one pertaining to the fifth grade, one to each middle school grade, and one to the entirety of the high school. Furthermore, and lucky for audiences that night, people were actually able to witness this year’s debut performance from every group, minus the fifth graders, who are tirelessly preparing for the Christmas concert. As expected, the younger grade’s repertoires mostly consisted of simple, yet fun, pieces. For example, the sixth grade played a spooky rendition of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” and the 7th grade played a song called “Storm Chaser,” in which the tapping of fingers against the instruments and sharp strikes of the bows presented listeners with the thought of a dark, violent storm. However, while these songs were performed beautifully by the musicians, one could tell that they were matched with the skill level of the grade, with said pieces being satisfyingly simplistic and minimalist in nature. 

However, when the eighth-grade orchestra took the stage, the music played started to get a little more intense. The optimal example of such a transition was the song “Night Shift.” For those who do not know, shifting in orchestra occurs when one moves their hand and fingers farther up the string on their instrument than usual, reaching octaves and pitches that they could usually only achieve by actually moving up a whole string. As the name implies, “Nightshift” was very demanding when it came to this technique, integrating eerie shifts with intense rhythms and tempos. In my opinion, it was the highlight of the eighth graders’ performance.

Then the Dover High School orchestra stepped into the limelight, and proceeded to serenade the audience with the scariest tunes yet. Well, I guess since I’m part of the DHS orchestra, that prior statement may be somewhat subjective, but I digress. First played was a piece called “Legend of the Ghost Stallion.” This encompassed a ghostly western theme and combined the sinister with the exciting. Next up was Dmitri Shostakovich Waltz No. 2, which was used in the Stanley Kubrick Film Eyes Wide Shut. This tune took the form of a conventional waltz, with a rhythm that was both beautiful and foreboding. Finally, the night ended with the strange, but appropriately named, “Rosin Eating Zombies from Outer Space,” which utilized screams and a technique that produced sound reminiscent of the Psycho theme. 

Overall, the concert was a success, and this is in great part thanks to the conductor, Mr. Rutter. He is always trying hard to make the ensemble the best it can be and working around the clock to create a fun yet informative learning environment, and while this alone should not make you feel obliged to check out the program, the previously mentioned work Mr. Rutter puts in definitely pays off, as we are better than ever! So essentially, if you like what you read, feel free to come check out the next orchestra concert. On the 5th of November, the 5th-8th grade orchestras are performing in the DHS auditorium at 7:00 pm, and on the 12th of the same month, the DHS orchestra is performing in conjunction with the DHS band (also at 7:00 in the DHS auditorium). These concerts will be absolutely free and a great time. 

Recordings From Concert:

Legend of the Ghost Stallion

Rosin Eating Zombies from Outer Space

Music Credits (because we honor artists’ work here at the Crimsonian):

  • Twinkle Twinkle Spooky Start- W.A. Mozart (Arr. by D. Rutter)
  • Storm Chaser- Kevin Mixon
  • Night Shift- Richard Meyer
  • Legend of the Ghost Stallion- Richard Meyer
  • Waltz No. 2-Dmitri Shostakovich
  • Rosin Eating Zombies from Outer Space- Richard Meyer

Pictures from the Concert: