The Berkeley College Orchestra performed its show, “Serenade of Memory and Destiny,” at the United Church on the Green. 

The event, held on Sunday, Nov. 12, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., featured a program of classical pieces that explored themes of nostalgia, history and fate.

Under the baton of music director Nicole Lam ’25, the orchestra — which consists of Yale undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and professional affiliates — worked together to make the night musically cohesive and harmonious. The concert started with Jean Sibelius’ “Impromptu for Strings,” before progressing to the “Weiner Serenade,” inspired by Hungarian folk music. 

“As this orchestra plays more and more together, the more cohesive they sound, the more fun they’re having,the more they’re blending into each other,” Lam said. “And I really felt that these pieces are extremely challenging both as an ensemble and also just technically, and I think people put in the work [to] create a product that everybody feels really proud of.” 

Kincaid MacDonald ’23, a player in the BCO, commented on the piece’s complexity. He said that he thought the Verdi was technically the “hardest,” noting that it required “the most skill” to play. He said that the Weiner, on the other hand, was the most musically difficult because “it has this different style” that is less common.

Another highlight of the evening was Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Forza Del Destino,” a composition that combined drama with more intricate orchestral arrangements to evoke a story about fate and the future. The title translates to “the force of destiny.” 

The concert’s programming was inspired by Nicole Lam’s own experience of music as a medium that transcends time — something that evokes past memories, present experiences and future aspirations, she said.

Joshua Chen ’27, a clarinetist in the BCO, reflected on the orchestra’s preparation. “We had about a month to prepare for this concert, but it really came together in the last couple of weeks,” he told the News.

Julieanna King ’27, another BCO player, praised the selection of pieces, noting that the execution of the show required many “moving,” independent parts to harmonize.  

While this was the last concert for the BCO this semester, the orchestra has two shows planned for next semester.

In addition to planning a collaboration with the Yale Ballet Company for February and a double bronze concerto for next April, the BCO also has a smaller chamber concert planned for the end of the semester, involving a subset of the whole orchestra.

The audience remarked positively on the selection of works at the concert. Mehran Sadeghi, father of BCO member Cyrus Sadeghi ’27, appreciated the more abstract themes of the night. 

Tthe pieces that were put together catered to different moods and were quite lovely,” said audience member Elena Krapivina.

Founded in 1976, the Berkeley College Orchestra is Yale’s oldest student-run orchestra.

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.