Welch’s first concert different, successful

Welch’s first concert last Wednesday drew a crowd and exceeded expectations.


Wednesday, Oct. 12 was the first orchestra concert of Jonathan Welch’s career at West.

Welch himself was satisfied with the orchestras’ effort and was pleasantly surprised by the Concert Orchestra’s performance.

“I am very happy with the way [the concert] went,” he said. “I programmed a lot of music, some of my favorites. It was very exciting, it being the first concert, I was really proud of the freshman for the sound they produced and the level they were able to play at. I got a lot out of them.”

He was also pleased with the Symphony Orchestra’s work.

“With symphony, it was fun to . . . just watch everybody make music and make music at such a high level,” Welch said.

One highlight of the concert was a piece by the Symphony Orchestra where the first chair of each section played a short solo and the concertmaster, Eugenia Chen ’17 played several solos.

“I was very proud of all of our soloists last night,” said Welch. “The ending [of one of the pieces] is very difficult and I think that Eugenia Chen did a good job with the ending. I thought that she just had great poise, landed it, did very well with it and it was a great way to end the concert.”

While the concert was a success, many performers and audience members were slightly disconcerted by the differences between what they were used to with former West orchestra conductor Wayne Thelander and what they got with Welch.

Stephanie Dotzel, Northwest Junior High orchestra conductor, noticed some differences between Thelander’s concerts and Welch’s.

[The biggest difference I noticed was] choice of literature. I always enjoyed Mr. Thelander’s, but I know I will enjoy your new conductor’s pieces too,” Dotzel said. “He really does a nice job of bringing out the viola and the cello section; the bass as well.”

Adam Conrad ’18, a violinist in the Symphony Orchestra, agrees that there were differences.

“Obviously it wasn’t the same,” Conrad said. “But not all the changes were negative changes. It was just something new to get used to.”

Differences aside, Welch’s concert does have one thing in common with Thelander’s: it was a pleasant experience.

“That’s a very big concert that not very many high school orchestras could get together this early in the year,” Welch said. “And even with its flaws, I was incredibly happy with it.”