Peoria Symphony Orchestra Performs Orfe Composition

September 17, 2010

By: Melissa McGuire

The Peoria Symphony Orchestra will perform the premiere of Dr. John Orfe's fanfare piece, "Journeyman Progressions," in its season opener Sept. 18.

Professor Orfe teaches in Bradley's music department.  He received a bachelor's degree at the University of Rochester and his music education at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. Orfe went to graduate school at Yale School of Music in New Haven, Connecticut. He joined the Bradley faculty as a temporary assistant professor in 2008.

While Orfe is busy teaching music classes, he still makes time to travel the world as a composer.

According to Orfe, each composer has an individual style, although this might take some time to develop. After audiences hear many pieces by the creator, they will start to pick up "thumbprints of the composer such as themes, devices, and soundworlds."

With the opening night of the PSO just around the corner, Orfe hopes for a superior concert.

"A great performance has visceral, emotional, and intellectual appeal," said Orfe. "Rock-solid technique, convincing interpretation, excellent quality of tone, and moment-by-moment direct engagement with the music in real time are essential [for a good performance]."

The orchestra's new music director, George Stelluto, will make his own debut Saturday. A good conductor adds to the experience of the concert, and his musical knowledge will make it enjoyable for the listeners.

"The list of qualities [of a good conductor] would include superior musicianship, thorough knowledge of the score, passionate advocacy of each composer, effective communication to the players and the audience, and strong leadership skills," said Orfe.

With a world premier of original music and new leadership highlighting the PSO season opener this Saturday, excitement runs through Orfe's veins.

"I'm excited," said Orfe. "A very hopeful, positive excitement. I'm grateful to the Peoria Symphony Orchestra for giving me the opportunity to write a piece inaugurating its first season under Music Director George Stelluto."