Orchestra makes return to Southern

The music department is hearing a resurrection.

After an absence of several years due to budget cuts and the retirement of former orchestra director Dr. William Elliott, the Southern Orchestra has returned this fall 2005 under the direction of Dr. Kexi Liu.

“It has been three years since there was an orchestra,” said Liu, who is also director of the Suzuki Violin Academy. “This orchestra is a newly-revived one.

He said the music department dropped the program due to budget cuts at the time.

“The reason we were able to start the orchestra again was that the budget improved,” Liu said.

Liu said he believes the music department and the University have been supportive of the revived orchestra.

He said the orchestra will serve several purposes for students.

The orchestra will allow students to learn and perform different varieties of music from different periods and composers.

Liu also said having the orchestra will benefit the community because there will be performances every year.

The orchestra will also help recruit students for Southern because it will perform for area high schools.

The orchestra’s first performance will be on campus Nov. 8.

“There are about 20 registered students in the orchestra and community members,” Liu said.

He said there are many string players in the orchestra who are freshmen.

Nathan Ward, freshman mass communications major, plays the cello for the orchestra.

“It’s important to have an orchestra,” Ward said. “It’s a chance for me to continue playing cello after high school, I have a chance to play with a group. After 10 years it’s kind of hard to drop it.”

Murphy, freshman biology/pre-med major and music minor, will play the violin.

“I joined the orchestra because I really wanted an outlet,” Murphy said. “I enjoy playing with an ensemble no matter what size it is.”

Murphy said it is important for Southern to have an orchestra to define it as a University.

“It puts it on a higher plane,” he said.