Live music has made a comeback since COVID-19 regulations were gradually lifted. Taking advantage of this, the San Diego State School of Music and Dance was finally able to resume providing great music and entertainment to the San Diego community.
On October 2, the SDSU Symphony Orchestra and Wind Symphony performed at the annual Symphony by the Sea event, sponsored by the Port of San Diego at Imperial Beach.
This event was open to the public with an outdoor performance filled with classical music, band tunes and patriotic songs. People from the community gathered near a set up tent listening to the ensembles perform.
SDSU Orchestra Director Michael Gerdes and Band Director Dr Shannon Kitelinger along with SDSU Music have been preparing for this show since the start of the semester.
“This is our seventh year of partnering with the Port of San Diego,” said Kitelinger.
Although this event is an annual tradition, it has been almost two years since the SDSU music ensembles returned to Imperial Beach. Last year the show was canceled due to the pandemic.
Starting at 6:30 p.m. the show was a great way for people to enjoy the sunset on the beach. Many in the audience brought their own blankets and lawn chairs to spend a pleasant evening while watching the show.
The ensembles had arrived much earlier before the show to prepare and set up the concert, including their soundcheck.
SDSU Symphony Orchestra percussionist Alejandro Soto spoke about the amount of preparation it took for the orchestra to perform that night.
“I’m one of the percussion coordinators,” Soto said. “It’s a big responsibility. We loaded all of our things onto a trailer at the university and brought everything back here. ”
As part of the percussion section, Soto spent the whole day making sure he had all the equipment for the performance and had everything ready before the show started.
The program began with the Symphony Orchestra performing “The Star-Spangled Banner”. The orchestral segment included works by Samuel Barber, George Gershwin, Florence Price, and Aaron Copland.
As the sun set, many people gathered around the marquee to hear the harmonious sound of the SDSU orchestra. Their segment ended with “Cuban Overture” by George Gershwin.
Samuel Jimenez, first violin of the SDSU orchestra, expressed his enthusiasm for performing at the concert.
“I really like playing Cuban Overture,” said Samuel Jimenez. “If you see a video of me playing tonight, I will definitely dance in my seat.”
The SDSU Wind Symphony performed the second half of the show and provided excellent music for the night.
They featured works by Hart, Ticheli and Wilkens, including a Ray Charles interpretation of “America the Beautiful”.
As tradition dictates, the Wind Symphony also performed patriotic songs representing each division of the Armed Forces, to honor those who have served our country. After such a great night out, the Imperial Beach community felt happy to have live music on the streets again. For future performance, see the SDSU School of Music website.