The UIC Orchestra and Choir had their end of year concert titled, ‘Look at the World’ on 27 November. The conductors for the night were lecturers from the Division of Culture and Creativity (DCC) Mr Stephen Lam and Mr Mars Lei, along with DCC foreign intern, Robert Runnels.

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UIC Orchestra and Choir performing the last piece 'Look at the World'

During the hour-long programme there were pieces from all around the world, including a piece from Czech, a traditional Chinese piece, an English folksong, the soundtrack of Les Miserables from France and the night ended with a piece that inspired the title of the concert, ‘Look at the World’ by English composer John Rutter.

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The Choir sung five songs by Czech Composer Antonin Leopold Dvorak. The songs in order were ‘Das Pfand der Liebe, Die Zuversicht, Die Gefangene, Die Trennung, and Der Ring’.

The pieces were all very different from one another but had an underlying similarity about them. The first pieces were in the singer’s high register with beautiful harmonies. As they moved on to different pieces they had some call and response parts to a few of the pieces. The pianist played beautifully alongside the choir as they went from going fast-paced and loud to slow and quiet throughout the different pieces of the late Czech composer.

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The choir singing their solo piece

The second piece was the whole orchestra, without the choir. This piece was titled ‘Jasmine Flower’ by He Fang. Between the beautiful vibrato of the violin, the light and dreamy flutes in the back and the plucking from the cello and bass, the audience was captivated by this traditional Chinese piece.

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UIC Orchestra performing 'Jasmine Flower'

The third piece was performed by the wind band only. This piece was composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams and the piece was a part of the English Folksong Suite titled, ‘March: Seventeen Come Sunday’.

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The wind band performing their solo piece

The song has many dynamic changes keeping the piece very interesting with light flute parts and loud horn parts. The piece flowed nicely with many mood changes between the light and quiet parts and the loud parts. 

Next was a selection of songs from Claude-Michel Schonberg’s ‘Les Miserables’, which was played by the full Orchestra. The pieces were titled as follows, ‘At the End of the Day, I Dreamed a Dream, Master of the House, On My Own and Do You Hear the People Sing’.

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UIC Orchestra playing music from 'Les Miserables'

The set of pieces had the audience awestruck as a large selection of pieces allowed for different things to be picked up and heard. In the beginning, there were long beautiful strokes by the violin, and also loud horns that filled the whole room with sound, while in the background there was a steady and constant drumbeat.

The last piece of the night was a combined Orchestra and Choir piece called ‘Look at the World’ by John Rutter. The whole piece started off very delicate with the girls' voices only eventually adding in the rest of the singers and orchestra. Eventually, everyone was singing or playing at the same time.

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Everyone involved with producing the concert 

The night ended with a round of applause and a big group picture to celebrate the end of the year concert and a semester of hard work.

Reporter: Lauren Richardson
Photographers: Wei Xiaojing (Y2 IJ), Liu Xiyu (Y2 IJ)
Editors: Deen He, Samuel Burgess
(from MPRO)