Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra to present concert Sept. 27

The Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra will begin its 2022-23 season with a concert on Tuesday, September 27 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. Tickets are $15.75 each and can be purchased online at NSU, Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts and BPCC@NSU students are admitted free with a current student I.D. 

Dr. Doug Bakenhus is musical director and conductor of the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra. Syll-Young Olson is assistant director. The concert is titled “Shouts of Joy” and will feature soprano Ella Victoria Aubrey Castro.

The orchestra will perform “Polonaise” from “Eugene Onegin op. 24” by P.I. Tchaikovsky, “Cantata BWV 51” (Juachzet Gott in allen Landen) by J.S. Bach featuring Castro, “Symphony No. 96 in D Major” (The Miracle) by F.J. Haydn, “Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity” from “The Planets” by Gustav Holst and “Mambo” from “West Side Story” by Leonard Bernstein.

Castro is a graduate student at Northwestern State working towards a Master of Music with a concentration in Music Education. She graduated with Bachelor of Music in Music Education at the University of the Philippines – Diliman. Castro is a member of numerous choirs, including the Northwestern State University Chamber Choir, Villancico Vocal Ensemble, the resident choir of the International Bamboo Organ Festival, and was a part of University of the Philippines Concert Chorus and won Grand Prix in the 6th Krakow International Choral Competition held in 2015 at Krakow, Poland. She is also part of different choral camps like Sing Philippines Youth Choir, Asia Pacific Youth Choir, and Philippine Choral Directors’ Association. She was also selected to be a part of World Youth Choir 2020.

Castro won second place in the Lower Advanced Classical Treble category of National Association of Teachers of Singing – Southern Region. She also starred in her premiere opera role as Mother in the “Amahl and the Night Visitors” performed by the NSU Opera Ensemble, and performed on her premiere musical role as Mayzie LaBird in “Seussical the Musical” with the NSU Theatre.

Castro was a conductor of the University of the Philippines – Association of Computer Science Majors CURSOR Choir that were champions in the yearly Awitan Choral Competition held in 2020. She also conducted the Pansol Choir in the Sixth Macau International Festival held in 2019. Castro was the musical director of Teatro Kalsayeño, Caloocan City Science High School’s theatre group for almost seven years (2014-2021) and was involved in musicals with the group. Currently, she is the instructor of NSU Men’s Chorus, and is a graduate assistant in the voice department of the School of Creative and Performing Arts. She is studying voice with Dr. Terrie Sanders, orchestral conducting with Bakenhus, and piano with Dr. John Price.

The orchestra will present a Halloween concert on October 31 in Magale Recital Hall and be part of the annual Christmas Gala on Nov. 30 – Dec. 2 in the A.A. Fredericks Auditorium. Concerts during the spring semester will be held on February 7, March 14, and April 25.