School of Music introduces new director with orchestra concert

Marcus Donaldon

The Kent State University Orchestra performed its Second Subscription Concert at 3:30 p.m. in Cartwright Hall Sunday to welcome Charles Latshaw, the new director of the school’s orchestra. The concert delivered a few surprises for audience members and challenged the student performers’ skills.

The show’s surprises included a scream from the musicians during the second movement of Hayden’s “Surprise Symphony.”

“Second movements are usually slow,” Latshaw explained during intermission, “Hayden puts a bang in there… There’s a common story, people say all the time, that Hayden did this because he didn’t want his audiences to fall asleep.”

The scream was an added surprise on top of the loud bang from the timpani drums. Audience members could be heard gasping and giggling in shock.

The concert stretched the skills of the orchestra members as well as entertained spectators said Parry Lopez, junior music major and double bass player for the orchestra.

“The last concert, all of the tempos were very straight. It didn’t change too much throughout the piece, and then this concert, the tempo expanded and contracted a lot,” Lopez said. Lopez said his biggest challenge was keeping up with the conductor while keeping an eye on the music.

One other surprise during the concert was that the orchestra played the “Surprise Symphony” without a conductor. Latshaw joined the audience for the final number of the evening, leaving Yang Zeng, the principal violin player, to lead the orchestra.

“I think the hardest thing is to play without a conductor for [the] last piece,” said Yuxuan Zhang, junior music major and violist for the Kent State University Orchestra. “We need to listen to each other a lot.”

Lopez agreed, saying he had to listen in a “completely different way.”

“It’s kind of difficult when you have a part to play and you’ve got to stay in tune, but it was a lot of fun and a great experience overall,” Lopez said.

Contact Marcus Donaldon at [email protected].