On Saturday, June 9th, 2012 at 7 p.m., the Chicago UBF Orchestra and Chorus presented a "Graduate Concerto Gala" in the Chicago UBF Center. The concert was highlighted by solo performances from four graduating seniors--three high school and one from college. The concert began with a welcoming address by Pastor Ron Ward who gave a meaningful and very affectionate history and purpose of the orchestra. We realized that the orchestra is God's grace to us to worship Jesus, dedicate our hearts and time to Him, and to bless others. So, we have to pray for a successful orchestra that pleases God continually.
The music began with Mary Lim, a senior from Northside College Prep High School (ranked #1 in Illinois), who performed Weber's 1st Clarinet Concerto in f minor, the first movement. Mary exhibited outstanding control and technique as she performed this difficult piece in her solo debut. She will attend the Kansas City Art Institute in the Fall. Next Sarah Lee, a senior from Lincoln Park's prestigious International Baccalaureate program, performed Haydn's cello concerto in C Major, the first movement. Sarah revealed an incredibly beautiful cello sound as well as technique to perform this staple of the cello repertoire. This was followed by three pieces from Swan Lake--Scene, Waltz and Finale--by the Chicago UBF Orchestra. After an intermission, Joy Vucekovic from Lincoln Park UBF, a home schooled senior who is attending Indiana University in the Fall, performed the virtuosic "Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso" by Saint-Saens. Joy will be a violin major at Indiana University, and her brilliant performance shows she has a very bright future as a musician. We were so thankful to be blessed by her wonderful performance and to co-work with Lincoln Park UBF. The performance closed with Beethoven's Choral Fantasy for piano, orchestra, choir and soloists. Curie Lee, a senior at Northwestern University who will work as UBF staff for one year after graduation, performed beautifully the difficult piano part that Beethoven wrote for himself. The piece ended with a orchestra, chorus and piano together in a beautiful, happy and inspiring song that filled the Center. We were deeply thankful for Tim McEathron and the chorus who prepared the piece with us and performed so beautifully.
In addition to the music, the Chicago pastoral staff and elders presented each of the graduating seniors with a gift (a new NIV study Bible), including Josephine Wang and Anna Joy Ahn (both graduates of Lincoln Park IB program and attending Loyola University in the Fall). Mother Barry prayed for all the seniors and we thanked God for their service to Jesus, giving their Thursday and Saturday nights to Him for four years. We can only thank God with all our hearts for these six precious young people.
Afterward everyone in attendance (about 150) was filled with joy and we enjoyed snacks together. We realized we need more beautiful times like this together and pray to have more in the future. Praise God for his grace upon us to serve Him and enjoy Him and each other in this beautiful fellowship.