Baroque ‘n’ Roll

The UVa Baroque Orchestra displayed a wealth of talent at its fall concert right before the Thanksgiving holiday, offering the audience an auditory experience unrivaled by the usual inundation of musical acts students find across Grounds

The ensemble, directed by David Sariti, brought together students of a variety of instruments to perform 17th- and 18th-century pieces using baroque-style instruments including the harpsichord and the baroque flute. Before joining the orchestra, students must first exhibit mastery of their chosen instrument’s contemporary counterpart.

Sariti is an accomplished musician — a violinist in the Charlottesville & University Symphony Orchestra, a chamber music teacher and a member of the Rivanna String Quartet — who brought an impressive expertise to the performance. He carefully explained the various musical pieces and the time period, welcome information for those of us without any background in musical history — let alone the baroque era.

The ensemble flourished under Sariti’s guidance, beautifully bringing together an amazing blend of sounds I never expected to hear when I walked into Old Cabell Hall. Led by the extremely gifted musician Campbell Shiflett, a second-year College student, the ensemble made the performance accessible and entertaining. Even without any technical knowledge of how the instruments are played or the style of music, I could easily appreciate the level of skill and mastery with which this orchestra performed.

The group’s charisma and expertise are second to none — fully deserving of the audience’s standing ovation.

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