Rose Hill Symphony Orchestra Shines in Fall Concert


Fordham Orchestra’s Fall Concert showcased student musical talents. (Courtesy of Zoe Karoub/The Fordham Ram)

Classical music has stood the test of time as a way to transport audiences into another world, one that allows each listener to project their imagination onto the wordless melodies. Movies, TV shows and ballets are a few examples of how classical music continues to inspire modern audiences. Live symphony orchestras especially maximize this power with the help of a staggering variety of sounds that surround an enraptured audience.

On Sunday, Nov. 20, members of the Fordham community filtered into the Fordham Prep Leonard Theater to enjoy the talent of Rose Hill’s own Symphony Orchestra. The group performs once a semester, so catching them in action is an almost rare experience. This semester, friends, family and faculty who took advantage of the opportunity were transported into worlds like the Czech Republic and Spain over the course of an hour. 

The program consisted of three classical selections, accompanied by brief descriptions of their origins. Smetana’s “The Moldau” is inspired by the shifting sounds and rich history of the Moldau River, the longest in the Czech Republic. Each movement of the piece corresponds with the flowing movement of the river through different locations in Central Europe. The third movement of Fauré’s “Suite from Pelléas et Mélisande” is a haunting selection that also formed the background music for a play by Maurice Maeterlinck in 1898. Finally, the concert ended with Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Capriccio Espagnol,” a celebration of Spanish folk music. Director of Orchestral Ensembles Andy Bhasin lovingly dedicated this last piece to his one year old daughter in the crowd. At the end of each selection, the student performers were met with enthusiastic applause and cheers from the audience.

Each musician seemed to wholeheartedly connect with this semester’s selections. Violinist David Moran, GSB ’25, said, “This was my second concert, and it was by far my favorite. The best part about it was our music selection, which I thought was well-planned. ‘The Moldau’ meant a lot to me, as it is a traditional Czech piece about a river which flows through my country.” 

Students like Moran are part of an incredibly passionate group of Rose Hill’s population. The Rose Hill Symphony Orchestra is made up of 58 musicians. According to the Music Department website, students do not need to audition in order to join the group. Additionally, all majors are welcome. This fact stands out to the students, like clarinetist Gabriel Roman, FCRH ’25, who wish to continue their music education alongside other interests. “The Fordham Orchestra offers the opportunity for non-music and music majors alike to come together and produce music. This fall’s concert went wonderfully and has been my most enjoyable performance at Fordham,” said Roman. 

In preparation for the fall concert, orchestra members devoted a substantial amount of time to perfecting the pieces. “For this performance, the students had to prepare for two rehearsals each week, submit individual playing exams and attend multiple coaching sessions, often outside of scheduled rehearsal times. Our performance is a direct result of the dedication and hard work of all our students this semester,” said director Bhasin. 

This semester marks Bhasin’s first as Director of Orchestral Ensembles, a role that also includes conducting the Lincoln Center Chamber Orchestra. Bhasin comes to Fordham as a violinist and conductor with an impressive resume. He has traveled globally, performed in renowned settings and worked under legendary composers, such as John Williams. 

Bhasin’s expertise, as well as the dedication of the orchestra members, were obvious to audience members like Madison Gakopoulos, FCRH ’25. “I thought the quality of the performance was fantastic. It was wonderful to see the months of hard work come to fruition in a great concert,” said Gakopoulos. 

If you missed the fall concert, be sure to catch the Rose Hill Symphony Orchestra for their next performance in the spring. Until then, the Fordham Music Department is hosting several performances of the various music groups on both campuses. Check their website for more detailed information, and don’t miss your chance to experience all the talents that the Fordham community has to offer.