Philharmonic Goes Back To School

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On Thursday, Feb. 26, The Long Island Philharmonic played the annual joint concert with the Wheatley music groups. The orchestra, which includes more 100 members, is made up of Wheatley students, East Williston School District teachers and the Philharmonic professionals.

There was also a wide range of instruments being played, like violins, trumpets, drums and even a harp. The conductor and music director of the philharmonic is David Stewart Wiley, who is experienced and energetic. Apart from his position at the Long Island Philharmonic, he also holds the same position at the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, Roanoke, VA.

Wiley is also an accomplished pianist; he has played in numerous venues around the world. Wiley has been conducting the Long Island Philharmonic joint concert for more than 10 years. His favorite part of the concert, he said, is seeing the students engage and be educated in music.

The night started off with a few words from The Wheatley Schools principal, Dr. Sean C. Feeney. He handed the microphone over to Wiley who welcomed the audience. First violin, Justin Vega, a freshman at Wheatley, gave the philharmonic an A, and they began their first song.

The concert and intermediate orchestras played a variety of songs, one being “Colonel Bogey March.” They then played “Theme from Superman,” conducted by Wheatley Orchestra and Chorale teacher and Long Island Philharmonic Performance Partners Coordinator, Angela Luftig. Luftig played violin during the other part of the show along with Stan Orlovsky who played cello, Dr. Peggy Ho who played clarinet, Steven Fitzko who played trumpet, Scott Hoefling who played saxophone and Mark Meyers who played trombone.

Next to perform was the Honor String Ensemble. The group played a variety of entertaining songs, one being the 15-minute long Petite Suite, an arrangement composed of four songs.

Finally the Symphonic Orchestra performed. The group was given a note to tune to by first violin Seungmin Yi, a Wheatley School senior. The orchestra closed the show with the much anticipated “The Typewriter,” featuring science teacher Steven Finkelstein who did indeed play the typewriter. The song was well rehearsed and everyone in the audience went home satisfied.

Wiley said that his favorite part of the whole joint concert is watching the students both being educated and “[feeling] the love of music.”

In the meantime, students and community members alike are anxious for next year’s joint concert.

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