The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 11, 2000


Peking musicians treat Carlisle students to unique performance

On Wednesday, February 2, the students of the Carlisle Middle School had the opportunity to hear Symphonic Band of the Middle School of Beijing University play in the Corey Auditorium. The band was playing at Carlisle due to their connection with the Concord-Carlisle High School and was looking for performance opportunities while in America. After a brief introduction from Carlisle's own band director, Tom O'Halloran, the band began their first selection. With a swift down-beat motion from the conductor, all the silence and whispering was driven from the room by the first burst of sound. In the first and second selections a Chinese style of music BEIJING continued from page 1

predominated. The third selection, featuring a young pianist, was Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, and if the band had not caught the attention of the music lovers in the audience yet, it did now. The young man playing the piano played so quickly and accurately that at times three different strikes of the keys sounded as one. The exuberant applause instantly overpowered the resonance of the final note. But the Gershwin piece, in my opinion, marked the awakening of the band. The next selection would be equally amazing.

A man carrying a bizarre instrument which seemed to be a combination oboe, harmonica, and accordion emerged from stage left. The third selection began strongly, the Chinese style of music evident again. The tempo calmed, making way for the man to play his instrument, his solos alternating with the performance of the band. Each time he minimally varied what he played in his last solo, however, the sound of this instrument was so intriguing, the similarity of his solos was hardly a downfall. The instrument could oscillate between two notes in a haunting manner; it could even provide its own accompaniment.

"Even though we have almost the exact same instruments, the sound was totally different because they have a different philosophy of sound," said Tom O'Halloran of the performance. "It seemed that the majority of the student body felt that it was a worthwhile event." O'Halloran also mentioned that the Affiliated High School of Peking University Wind Orchestra expressed interest in playing again in Carlisle.

The Chinese students would like to thank the Carlisle Cultural Enrichment Committee for providing their lunch following the concert in the school's Corey dining room.

2000 The Carlisle Mosquito