Music Students and Symphony Irvine Collaborate for ‘An Orchestral Celebration’

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Music professor Jungwon Jin will play SAC’s Steinway piano at “An Orchestral Celebration” Saturday. Lesly Guzman / el Don

When Santa Ana music major Emmanuel Cortes was in high school, he played several piano concertos with the all-volunteer Symphony Irvine.

“For the most part, I think that the level of challenge is really good, especially for a music major, just kinda like going out there and trying out difficult music,” he said. “I think it’s a good experience. I definitely sweat a lot when we are done.”

For the first time in its 7-year history, Symphony Irvine, one of the biggest orchestras in Orange County, is collaborating with the music departments at both Santa Ana College and Santiago Canyon College for a performance Saturday at Phillips Hall. Under the direction of SCC Professor Binh Vu, “An Orchestral Celebration” will feature a performance of Symphony No.5 by Tchaikovsky and the choirs from both schools will perform selections from Handel’s Messiah.

“We were so lucky to have [Symphony Irvine] come to our campus and collaborate with us so we are really excited,” said Jungwon Jin, a music professor at SAC and an internationally awarded piano soloist, who will also be performing at the event.

Symphony Irvine is a collection of about 60 volunteer professional musicians that is pushing SAC’s music students in new ways. Symphony No. 5, for example, is a challenging, 50-minute-long piece.

“It’s a great opportunity for [the students]. They are really gaining a real experience while they are in school,” Jin said.

With only one week of rehearsals to come fully together and practice, Jin says that it has been challenging to coordinate everyone, but because there is so much dedication put into this performance by both the students and the professionals, they are able to accomplish more than what they expected in the professional growth of their students.

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“I think it’s a very good experience for us because it’s the first time I joined the choir since last semester but it’s the first time when we cooperate with the orchestra,” said Tin Tran, a SAC choir student that will be performing at the event.

An Orchestral Celebration takes place Saturday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m. at Phillips Hall on the SAC campus. General Admission is $15.00, $12.00 for staff and seniors, $9.99 for students with ID, and $5.00 for children 5-14. VIP tickets will also be available.

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