On March 3, UNC Charlotte’s Chamber Orchestra traveled to Vancouver to perform at local schools and the Kay Meeks Performing Arts Center.
The Chamber Orchestra is the highest level orchestral group at UNC Charlotte. Conductor Dr. Jonathan Govias has been with the orchestra since its inception in 2013. Govias is a Canada native himself and is excited for the “pedagogical impact the trip will have on [the] students and [the] social impact on [the] community.”
Vancouver was the orchestra’s sixth international program in three years. Previously they travelled to Montreal, London, Oxford, Birmingham, Glasgow, Scotland, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, San Francisco and Baltimore. Senior and principal cellist Andrew Llamas accompanied the orchestra to Israel, Montreal and New Zealand. According to Llamas, it is important to play music abroad because it “opens up a lot of new perspectives on what our field actually is.”
The orchestra played Dmitry Kablavesky’s “The Comedians,” Suad Bushnaq’s “Ghadan (Tomorrow)” and Christine Donkin’s “Frosted Pane.”
The opportunity to travel and play music is invaluable to Govias, as he decided he wanted to be a musician on a three week tour of Europe at age 18.
“I genuinely believe that an orchestra is a platform for changing lives, not just the people in it but the people with whom it interacts. Every time we travel we try to change the lives of our musicians and our partners. We have been very productive with that,” he said.
If you didn’t make it to Vancouver to hear them play, the orchestra will perform at Belk Theater on April 27 for their annual Diversity Concert.