A musical adventure close to home

Ciana Meyers reviews the recent Trinity Orchestra performance in Glasgow

The orchestra of Trinity College Dublin travelled internationally to start second term with a musical flourish. They flew to Glasgow, a city known for its robust musical heritage – one that incites ongoing celebration. In collaboration with The University of Strathclyde, the orchestra performed a selection of beloved pieces to form a programme both tasteful and fun. Particular highlights included Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, ‘From the New World Symphony’ and selections from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story. Strathclyde’s orchestra also spotlighted works from Alexander Borodin and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. While joint rehearsal time was demanding, Trinity students also explored the city through an organised walking tour and nights out. On the concert night of Friday, January 19th, the shared notion of adventure was found, not only at the heart of the musician’s experience, but also embedded in their repertoire.

The New World Symphony, similar to Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy, was born from a composer writing far from his homeland. The symphony is often remembered for the wandering Cor Anglais solo l.  Dvořák captures displacement and the immigrant experience here, something he knew well having emigrated from the Czech Republic to the United States. Trinity included a classically arranged ode to Irish traditional music, and the same singular voice could be heard in the tin whistle solo. 

Trinity violinist Teresa Gao shared her love of learning the music: “Most of the repertoire was carried over from our Michaelmas concert, so I enjoyed the opportunity to perform familiar pieces in a new space (and a new audience)…I think there’s so much power in connecting with literal strangers in a new country within a matter of minutes through making music together.”

Trinity cellist Isabella Littler named Strathclyde’s choice of West Side Story as a favourite amongst the musicians. The overarching sense of community endowed the popular I Feel Pretty with joy. 

Students from Galway were also in Glasgow,  staying in the same hostel. Ronan Hussey, of NUIG’s Trad Society, shared that their presence was for the Celtic Connections festival. The annual festival celebrates conversations and explorations within the Celtic music scene. 

“It’s nice to go over and meet musicians from different places and hear different tunes and styles that you wouldn’t hear at home much”

Hussey noted that it was the biggest group to ever visit from the society from what he could remember, remarking: “It’s nice to go over and meet musicians from different places and hear different tunes and styles that you wouldn’t hear at home much.” 

NUIG first year student, Tadhg Scanlon, emphasised the importance of music in his college experience as a way to meet new friends, saying: “as a society we stuck together, organised pop up sessions and brought the craic with us from Ireland.”

“Trinity Orchestra successfully represented Trinity College Dublin with artistic grace”

Most visiting students experienced difficulties travelling home, with severe weather conditions resulting in the cancellation of flights. Trinity students ventured to Edinburgh to break up the unexpected extra time in Scotland. Despite this stress and resulting spontaneity, Trinity Orchestra successfully represented Trinity College Dublin with artistic grace and a wonderful time.  

Ciana Meyers

Ciana Meyers is a Deputy Arts & Culture Editor and is currently in her second year of English Literature.