Lukas Nel, Contributing Photographer

The Berkeley College Orchestra commenced its 48th season with a “Con Brio” performance at the United Church on the Green this past Sunday. The orchestra played for students and families as part of Yale’s Family Weekend programming. 

“Con Brio,” the title of the performance, refers to ​​a musical direction meaning “with spirit.” The BCO traditionally hosts a large concert every fall, but this year’s marked their first time performing during Family Weekend. 

The BCO, Yale’s oldest student-run chamber orchestra, consists of graduate, undergraduate and faculty performers, and this performance featured pieces including the “Merry Wives of Windsor” Overture and the Beethoven Symphony No. 7.  

“I thought we played really well,” David Evans, the head of Berkeley College and the orchestra’s bass player said. “We came together in only about five or six weeks. So to bring Beethoven together in that amount of time I think the orchestra did a great job.”

Evans told the News he took pride in the BCO’s longstanding history. According to Evans, the BCO is the oldest continuously existing residential college orchestra.

Jacob Koch ’26, an attendee, emphasized the range of the orchestra’s members, noting that there were many first-year students playing in the group. He said that while he is not familiar with the technical elements of orchestra shows, he said that the performance “blew his mind.” 

Nicole Lam ’25, the orchestra’s current music director, told the News that the BCO performance is only the start of a strong series of concerts planned for the rest of the year. 

“We have some really exciting things planned for next spring,” Lam said. “In February, we’re planning to do a collaboration with the Yale Ballet company.” 

She also said that in April, the BCO will have soloists perform double violin concertos. 

One of the performers and a recent graduate of Yale College, Kincaid MacDonald ’23 told the News that the BCO’s opening concert presented an opportunity for families and students to familiarize themselves with Yale’s vibrant musical setting.

“It was incredible to give them the opportunity to make sure their families get settled in at Yale,” he said. “They’re making beautiful music.”

The BCO’s next performance is slated for Dec. 3, with a repertoire reveal due in the coming weeks. 

The United Church on the Green is located on 270 Temple St. 

Lukas Nel covers Art Student Life for the Arts Desk. Originally from Stellenbosch in the Republic of South Africa, he is a second semester junior in Davenport College studying EECS and Mathematics, who is passionate about art in all its forms.