A Reflection on Concerto Night


Concerto Night is a Skyline tradition that happens once every year in the spring. Soloists from various music programs such as Madrigals, Wind Ensemble, and Philharmonic Orchestra performed nine concertos on March 9th, 2023. Audience members were treated to various musical composers such as Bruch, Saint-Saens, Artunian, Grieg, Mozart, Shaw, Lalo, and Shostakovitch.

Inspiration for the pieces came from tradition from teachers and media, with performers learning their concertos in six months to a year. Alice Leppert, solo violinist in Skyline’s Philharmonic Orchestra, spent over a year deciphering the piece, learning it, and playing it with the orchestra itself. Other soloists such as AJ Wankier, a trumpet soloist in Skyline’s Wind Ensemble explained that he, on the other hand, “started learning the piece in August, and I performed in March, it took me around eight months.”

There is always different ways for others to learn pieces, and it all depends on how long it takes musicians to learn a difficult piece. Practicing not only alone, but with the orchestra also greatly impacted the quality of the soloists performances. Soloists spent countless hours in class perfecting their concertos the way they wanted to play them to prepare for the concert. Soren Sears, accompanist for Skyline’s Madrigals, said that practicing with the orchestra improved his performance drastically. “I played with my teacher before when she played the other accompaniment, but it was more helpful to hear the other instruments playing each individual part. It really brought the whole concerto together,” Sears states. Violin soloist Maia Nix agreed as well, stating that “We [soloists] got to work together with Mr. Larson and the orchestra, and it really helped [us] improve [our] playing as a soloist.”

As the night full of gorgeous performances went along, there were growing concerns for flood watch. During the performances, there was a heavy downpour occurring, which started leaking into Skyline’s auditorium. Surprisingly, however, many of the soloists weren’t stressing over the fact that their night could be over. “I don’t think [the flooding] impacted my playing, knowing that Shae [Bunker] and Linda Tierney helped with the sandbags,” Sears states. “It was nice to know that they were able to be there.”