Barbara Ingram art students help tell story of MSO's concert

November 11, 2012|By DAVE McMILLION |
  • Violinist Tim Fain performs Sunday afternoon at The Maryland Theatre during a Maryland Symphony Orchestra Masterworks concert.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

The Maryland Symphony Orchestra enhanced the experience for concertgoers over the weekend by adding visual elements to its musical performances.

For its masterworks concerts over the weekend at The Maryland Theatre, the orchestra wanted to bring local students into the process by having them create artwork to illustrate the music.

MSO Music Director Elizabeth Schulze talked to Barbara Ingram School for the Arts students about the music of composers Antonio Vivaldi and Astor Piazzolla, whose works were featured in “A Soloist for All Seasons” concert Saturday and Sunday at the theater.

Then the students were encouraged to let their imaginations flow based on what they were experiencing in the music.

The results were unveiled over the weekend at the theater, where vivid images of outdoor scenes graced the lobby.

The works came from students in the class of Teresa Roberts, lead teacher for the visual arts at Barbara Ingram School for the Arts.

Other artwork created by students at Barbara Ingram were projected on a screen behind the musicians. Those images came from students in Audra Haddock Martenot’s class.

One of Martenot’s students, Helen Domsky, described before Sunday’s show how she came up with one of the photographs she submitted for the concert.

The 16-year-old Domsky said she was listening to the music for the show when she thought of a place along the Potomac River not far from her home near Williamsport.

Domsky took a panoramic photo of the river, careful to capture the bright orange and brown in the changing autumn leaves.

After all, that’s what the music caused her to focus on.

“It made me think of the trees just before the leaves fall,” Domsky said.

Forty student images were submitted for the scenes that were projected behind and above the musicians.

The images slowly faded in and out as they changed in Sunday’s show, revealing scenes like old buildings, flying birds and flora.

Martenot, who teaches digital media at Barbara Ingram, said the students took photographs around downtown Hagerstown for the project. Students could use Photoshop if they chose to change their images.

“The students, I think, were very proud of the work they created,” Martenot said before the start of Sunday’s 3 p.m. concert. “I think that private visit from Elizabeth (Schulze) really inspired them.”

The concerts featured a chamber ensemble — six first violins, five second violins, four violas, four cellos and two basses. Violinist Tim Fain, who performed with the MSO in 2007, returned as solo guest artist to join the MSO players in the performance of Vivaldi's “Le Quatro Staggioni” (”The Four Seasons”) and “Cuatro estaciones Porteñas” (”The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires”) by Piazzolla.

 Washington, D.C.-area radio and television personality Robert Aubry Davis read Vivaldi's sonnets and four poems by Argentine poet, essayist and short-story writer Jorge Luis Borges.

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