Spring break will be extra special for the students of the Harker upper school orchestra, who will be traveling to Chicago to perform at the Chicago International Music Festival. The festival will take place April 8 at the Chicago Symphony Center. “We auditioned for this festival last spring and were thrilled to be accepted,” said Chris Florio, upper school music teacher.
In addition to being invited to perform, the orchestra also was honored with the opportunity to premiere a composition commissioned for the festival. The orchestra is working with composer Jeremy Van Buskirk of the Boston Composers’ Coalition on the piece, which will be heard by an international audience for the first time at the festival, as performed by Harker students. Florio spoke to Van Buskirk to exchange information about the piece. “My interaction with Jeremy was a lot of fun. He was very curious about Harker and wanted to learn a lot about the school in general, in addition to our orchestra,” Florio said. “He opened our meeting by telling me how impressed he was with our orchestra and excited to work with them. He had done quite a bit of investigating on YouTube to view our past performances. On describing his upcoming work for us, he said ‘it would not be (Pierre) Boulez, but it would not be (Aaron) Copland either; it will most likely be somewhere in between.’ What a wonderful experience for our orchestra to be involved in the creative process of a large new work from beginning to premiere!”
Expect more news on this tremendous opportunity in the coming months!