Cellist Traci Winters Tyson of the Port Angeles Symphony will perform in a special concert in early November. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/for Peninsula Daily News)

Cellist Traci Winters Tyson of the Port Angeles Symphony will perform in a special concert in early November. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/for Peninsula Daily News)

Symphony comes together to prepare for concert

Musical nuance important for ensemble

PORT ANGELES — If Jory Noble had to choose one word, it would be “glorious.”

That’s how she says it feels to make music again — with fellow string players — after seven months of orchestral silence.

For two weeks now Noble, concertmaster of the Port Angeles Symphony, has put on a face mask and lifted her instrument in rehearsals for an early November concert. The performance of two works chosen for the occasion, Johannes Brahms’ Double Concerto and Felix Mendelssohn’s Octet, will be offered free to the public online.

Port Angeles Symphony concertmaster Jory Noble will appear in an online concert in early November. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/for Peninsula Daily News)

Port Angeles Symphony concertmaster Jory Noble will appear in an online concert in early November. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/for Peninsula Daily News)

Noble has performed with orchestras across North America. She started to play the violin some 50 years ago, and she’s felt a deep joy in it ever since.

“I feel we communicate more deeply with music than when we speak,” Noble said.

“And this music is really exciting” performed with the ensemble: cellists Traci Winters Tyson and Karson Nicpon, violists Tyrone T. Beatty and Phil Morgan-Ellis, and violinists Marina Rosenquist, Kate Southard-Dean and James Garlick, who is appearing as a special guest.

Music director and conductor Jonathan Pasternack is leading rehearsals at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, which he said is extremely careful with its safety protocols.

When they walked into the church sanctuary a couple of Monday nights ago, it was the first time the musicians had gotten together since Feb. 22.

That was the night when the full orchestra, with guest artist Josu De Solaun, gave their winter concert in the Port Angeles High School Performing Arts Center.

Pasternack hasn’t had a pause like this at any point since he started his conducting career some 40 years ago.

This is not easy, he said.

In their masks, sitting more than 6 feet from one another, the players must watch more intently than they ever have — for eye contact, body language, the subtlest musical nuance.

“All that said, everybody is very inspired by the music and by being together,” Pasternack said.

“It’s a very emotional time for all of us.”

Violist Tyrone T. Beatty of the Port Angeles Symphony is part of a concert to be available online in early November. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/for Peninsula Daily News)

Violist Tyrone T. Beatty of the Port Angeles Symphony is part of a concert to be available online in early November. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/for Peninsula Daily News)

Pasternack has tailored the Brahms concerto for this tighter group of string players. For the final rehearsal and concert video recording, two guest soloists — Charlotte and Olivia Marckx, known as the Sempre Sisters — will be featured.

Violinist Charlotte Marckx debuted with the Port Angeles Symphony in December 2018; her older sister Olivia, a cellist, will give her first performance here. The Seattle-area duo is known for their award-winning “Bach to Beatles” music from the Northwest Folklife Festival to National Public Radio.

Beatty relishes the chance to play Brahms alongside the Sempre Sisters. He’s also looking forward to revisiting Mendelssohn’s Octet, which he performed 14 years ago with The Young Eight, an ensemble of African American classical musicians known around the country.

For Beatty, rehearsing both works now is a new adventure.

“We’re on heightened alert,” he said. “Since we’re spread out, we really have to listen. It adds to the intensity.”

The ensemble has three more rehearsals before it records the concert on Nov. 7. The one-hour video production will be available to view on YouTube during the week of Nov. 9, with links provided on the orchestra’s website, portangelessymphony.org, the Port Angeles Symphony Facebook page and via email. Donations to the nonprofit orchestra will be welcome.

“When you’re engaged with others in music making, you get immediate inspiration,” violinist Rosenquist said. “You miss it. You ache for it.”

Like her compatriots, she believes in giving her all, regardless of audience size or location.

Meantime, cellist Nicpon, who will be seated across the room from Rosenquist, hopes people watching at home will receive the same solace he does when he’s immersed in Mendelssohn and Brahms.

Violinist Marina Rosenquist of Port Townsend will appear in the Port Angeles Symphony concert. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/for Peninsula Daily News)

Violinist Marina Rosenquist of Port Townsend will appear in the Port Angeles Symphony concert. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/for Peninsula Daily News)

A first-year student at the University of Washington, Nicpon is taking all his courses online while he’s at home in Port Angeles. He gave an interview right after his evening chemistry lab.

Set aside time to enjoy the performance without distractions, Nicpon advised.

“The Brahms is very grand,” he said, adding: “I love it.”

Rosenquist feels as strongly about the Mendelssohn Octet, which she first heard as a teenager at the Oberlin Conservatory music camp in Ohio.

“I was enthralled at how beautiful it is,” she recalled.

“It was so uplifting then. And that carries through to now.”

________

Diane Urbani de la Paz, a former features editor for the Peninsula Daily News, is a freelance writer living in Port Townsend.

More in Entertainment

"Seahorse," by Pat Herkal is among the textile artworks on display at the Northwind Art Grover Gallery.
Undersea exhibit showcases textile arts

Textile artists’ varied views of the Salish Sea are… Continue reading

North Olympic Library System scheduled book discussions for April

The North Olympic Library System will continue online book… Continue reading

NAY-Geologylecture-PHOTO-PDN-210406

CAPTION: Trevor Contreras will address the Quimper Geological Society on Saturday
Geology, carving lecture slated in Port Townsend

Trevor Contreras will present “The Geology and Art of… Continue reading

Port Townsend Marine Science Center Executive Director Janine Boire plans to welcome the public back to the center starting Saturday at the Fort Worden-based aquarium. The center will be open Saturdays and Sundays with reservations beginning this weekend. (Zach Jablonski/Peninsula Daily News)
Port Townsend Marine Science Center partially reopens

Weekend visits will require reservations for on-site visitors

Clarinetist Jonathan Doyle, complete with an aerosol-masking instrument cover, jazzed up the Haller Fountain in downtown Port Townsend in the first “Buskers on the Block” gig. The series will showcase local musicians Thursdays and Saturdays through May. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)
Free music series has begun in Port Townsend

Buskers scheduled through May in Main Street program

Friends of the Sequim Library to hold book sale

The Friends of the Sequim Library will… Continue reading

Ballet Victoria — whose dancers have included Julia Jones Whitehead and Tymin McKeown, seen in 2019 — is among the dozens of performing ensembles to appear in the 2021 Juan de Fuca Festival, a blend of in-person and virtual shows May 28-31. Passes for the virtual festival are on sale now. Tickets for in-person shows will be available later this month. For information about the festival and its COVID-19 safety protocols, see JFFA.org under the Festival menu; the Juan de Fuca Foundation office phone is 360-457-5411. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)
Festival passes on sale

whose dancers have included Julia Jones Whitehead and Tymin… Continue reading

“Passing Cloud,” by Sydni Sterling, is featured in Artist Showcase 2021.
Twenty-one artists featured in Artist Showcase 2021

Northwind Art presents Artist Showcase 2021, the gallery’s first… Continue reading

Virtual home tour tickets on sale now

Tickets are on sale now for the 23rd Annual… Continue reading

Margaret Randall
Poet, photographer, essayist, activist Margaret Randall to read works

Margaret Randall — poet, essayist, oral historian, translator, photographer… Continue reading

Keith Rasmussen is sprucing up The Keg & I in Chimacum for its reopening — with live music on the back deck — this Saturday. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)
Doyle and Dwyer set to enliven Keg & I deck

Dancing to the live, in-person music this weekend at the… Continue reading