The New Millennium Chamber Orchestra and Peninsula Cantare

Date: November 22, 2013
City: San Carlos, CA
Venue: Trinity Presbyterian Church
Artist: The New Millennium Chamber Orchestra and Peninsula Cantare
Opening Act(s): n/a

Bruce Norris

I should start this post with a reminder that I am not musically trained in any way. I do not read music nor have I ever played an instrument. I mostly go to see popular music performed live, but my friend, Bruce Norris (pictured), invited me to see him perform. He plays the French horn in The New Millennium Chamber Orchestra.

This event had his group performing with Peninsula Cantare in celebration of St. Cecilia Day and Benjamin Britten’s 100th birthday. Music director, James Richard Frieman, explained all of the connections between St. Cecilia, Benjamin Britten and the other composers whose music they performed. All but one of the nine songs performed had a connection

The performance started with Peninsula Cantare singing Festival Te Deum, Op. 32 sans orchestra in a round. This was my least favorite song from the performance because it was hard for me to understand the words they were singing.

A portion of The New Millennium Chamber Orchestra joined Peninsula Cantare on stage for a song or two. Peninsula Cantare then left the stage while the remaining orchestra members (including Bruce) went on stage to performed additional songs. It was fascinating to watch the process in which each musician tuned his or her instrument in preparation for each song, especially the Timpani.

Not being musically trained, I wasn’t able to pinpoint Bruce’s French horn during the performance. It was still fun to see him sitting on stage with a talented group of musicians. While I enjoyed the show, I preferred the songs that included the orchestra more than when the chorus performed on its own.

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