Orchestra at Doudna on Sunday


Raine Zhu

Sadie Armstrong, a member of the Symphonic Honers Initiative Program and pre-college violinist from Mattoon High School, plays violin during the Eastern Symphony Orchestra performance called “The American Dream” in the Dvorak Concert Hall of the Doudna Fine Arts Center on Sunday afternoon.

Ethan Schobernd, Campus Reporter

Soloists will be featured at Eastern Symphony Orchestra’s concert on October 10 at 4 p.m. in Dvorak Concert Hall. 

The Eastern Symphony Orchestra is having its first in-person concert in over a year since the effects of COVID-19.  

Under the direction of David Commanday, the Director of Orchestral Activities and Cello Instructor at Eastern, the ensemble has prepared four main works that vary between the classical and romantic periods.  

The concert will preview two faculty soloists, Dr. Victor Cayres on piano and Dr. Ji-Myung Kim on violin. Dr. Cayres and Dr. Kim are instructors of their respective instruments within the EIU Department of Music.  

Isaac Navarro, the 2021 EIU Concerto/Aria Competition Winner and a Music Performance major, will also be performing a solo on the flute. 

Since this is the first time the orchestra has performed since COVID, Director Commanday was delighted to be able to perform to a live audience. 

“It is a joy for all of us to return to in-person performance – all musicians play to be heard by, to communicate with, real live people in our audience,” Commanday said. “Virtual concerts were the best option available during the darkest days of the pandemic, but now we will be able to see and hear our audience and they will hear our sound in the wonderful acoustic of Dvorak Hall!” 

Last year, the orchestra did not include any wind instruments for COVID safety. 

Now that regulations have changed due to the readily available COVID vaccines, the Eastern Symphony Orchestra has welcomed back the woodwind and brass families.  

The Eastern Symphony Orchestra has been able to return to full orchestral configuration- meaning the presence of winds, brass, and percussion alongside strings,” Commanday said. “This opens the wonderful range of great repertoire written for orchestra back up for us to perform.” 

Ethan Schobernd can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].