Thacher Thursdays Chamber Music Series Celebrates the Day of the Dead

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Yannan Shen
Contributing Writer

Every last Thursday of the month, classical music is performed by USF’s Chamber Ensemble at Thacher Gallery.  For a special performance in celebration of the Day of the Dead, the Chamber Ensemble collaborated with the university Classical Choral Ensemble and Conjunto Folklórico to perform music inspired by the Dobles Vidas exhibit currently on display last Thursday.

“It was such a success,” said Chamber Ensemble director Daria D’Andrea. Teaching violin and directing Chamber Ensemble for many years, she confidently believes this was the most successful Final Thursday Chamber music performance she has ever held. She is proud of her students and the PASJ department.

Under the PASJ department are various performance groups, including USF Classical Choral Ensemble led by Rebecca Seeman, and the Latin American music ensemble, Conjunto Folklórico, led by Francesca Rivera.

During the event, the three USF ensembles performed works by Juventino Rosas, Telemann, Hennessy, and Tomas Luis de Victoria.

The Chamber Ensemble’s biggest challenge has always been attracting students that may or may not have an understanding or appreciation for classical music. This time, however, more students came to sit down and listen to the whole concert instead of simply walking by.  Contrary to earlier performances, the gallery was now filled with mostly students and USF affiliates.

A Spanish professor saw the flier and brought most of her class to the concert. Crowded in Thacher Gallery, students in the class sang along to the music and enjoyed the refreshments that were offered.

An intricate Dia De Los Muertos altar set up among the Thacher Gallery exhibit to honor the passing of loved ones courtesy of Thatcher Gallery
An intricate Dia De Los Muertos altar set up among the Thacher Gallery exhibit to honor the passing of loved ones courtesy of Thatcher Gallery

Darin Villanueva, a cellist who has been with the Chamber Ensemble for three semesters, said she also played in Conjunto Folklorico last semester, and this event allowed her to appreciate the two different ensembles at the same time. It was a fun collaboration for her.

Even though this is the last Final Thursday Chamber music of Fall 2014, D’Andrea was highly encouraged to prepare for a chamber orchestra since USF musicians are no longer satisfied with small chamber groups. Certainly, all USF members are warmly welcomed to join regardless of their instrumental skills.

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