Saddleback Orchestra and Wind Ensemble perform at McKinney

Yorgos Kouritas conducting a piece from the concert with the Orchestra. (Don Congjuico)

Don Congjuico

The Saddleback College Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra performed at the McKinney Theatre Friday, Oct. 12. The performance featured the talents of an outstanding conductor, Yorgos Kouritas

A few of the musical pieces performed included Johannes Brahms’ “2nd Symphony”, a selection from “West Side Story” by Leonard Bernstein and Jean Sibellus‘ “Finlandia,”

It was Kouritas‘ first concert here at Saddleback College, who is a new faculty member at the Music Department, and teaches a variety of lessons ranging from violin to performances in the ensembles.

Kouritas is world-renowned for his talents in the world of music and has been recently awarded second place in the prestigious American Prize in Conducting.

“The new conductor was wonderful and I loved the performance tonight,” said one of the audience members Nancy Consentino. “It was so beautiful.”

Mike Walters, a cello player who was watching the concert, also commended the orchestra and the conductor for a fine concert.

“The concert was absolutely great,” Walters said. “Brahms’ ‘Second Symphony’ was my favorite because it was very sunny. It was an upbeat symphony.”

Richard Pettus, 18, undecided, who joined the orchestra last August, plays second violin.

“We met every Thursday from 7p.m. to 10 p.m. since class started,” Pettus said. “The concert was great and my favorite was Brahms’ ‘Second Symphony.’ The new conductor was also great. His style of conducting feels true because it connects with the emotion of the piece.”

Cello player Bayan Vazdi, biochemistry, and 1st violin player, Nabil Vazdi, moleculor biology, are brothers who also play in the orchestra. 

“I like how it was very united as a piece,” Bayan said.

Both liked Brahms’ “Second Symphony” the most, out of all the music they played that night.

“Yeah, it was a nice cohesive unit,” Nabil said. “Brahms piece really flowed in terms of melody.”

This concert is the first performed by the Saddleback Symphony Orchestra and will be followed by a concert this December called “A Feast of Lights,” which will be a joint effort composed of the Symphony Orchestra and the Saddleback College Choirs.


For more upcoming concerts from the Music Department:

Profile of Yorgos Kouritas:

Yorgos Kouritas delivers his welcome remarks at the start of the concert. (Don Congjuico)

Yorgos Kouritas emotionally conducts a musical piece as the orchestra looks on. (Don Congjuico)