Joy of music

WWU String Orchestra to present online concert

The Walla Walla University String Orchestra and various WWU chamber music ensembles will present a live online concert on Thursday, Nov. 19, at 7:30 p.m.

The orchestra, under the direction of Brandon Beck, associate professor of music, will perform a variety of pieces including Five Variants on “Dives and Lazarus” by Ralph Vaughn Williams; the Fugue from Concerto Grosso No. 1, B 59 by Ernest Bloch; the Prelude from Suite for Strings and Organ in G major, P 58 by Ottorino Respighi; and Amazing Grace arranged by Matt Riley for strings, piano, and solo violin.

The full WWU Symphony Orchestra was not able to rehearse together this fall because of COVID-19. “We were not allowed to utilize my wind players, so we have a string orchestra instead,” said Beck. “That gave me the opportunity to become familiar with some of the terrific literature available for that ensemble.”

The String Orchestra has been rehearsing in the University Church sanctuary to provide space for social distancing, which has made it more difficult for members of the group to hear each other. “Because mostly freshmen and seniors were invited back to campus [during COVID-19 restrictions], we have an ensemble with 13 new students out of 22 string players. Although I am missing some of my veteran leadership in the ensemble, we are very fortunate and grateful to have all the new string players, and they are doing wonderfully,” said Beck.

Beck says the concert promises “many beautiful contemplative pieces, and I’m hoping the joy of hearing and making live music will come through.”

The concert is free. Watch for a livestream link at

Posted Nov. 16, 2020.

Professor Beck conducting the orchestra
The String Orchestra is directed by Brandon Beck, associate professor of music.