Symphony NH performed at Keene State College on Friday, September 25.

The visiting orchestra was led by Music Director and Conductor Jonathon McPhee.

Being New Hampshire’s oldest professional orchestra, Symphony NH travels to different venues all over the state, bringing their class act with them.

The orchestra took the main stage at the Redfern Performing Arts Center where audience attendance turned out quite well.

Accompanying Symphony NH was acclaimed pianist Randall Hodgkinson,

Contributed by Alex Clark

Contributed by Alex Clark

who was a stand out during the first half of the show.

Passion was the main theme of the night, according to McPhee. Interconnecting each piece was a history lesson concerning how the next bit of music came about.

McPhee would take the microphone and deliver the backgrounds of what they were playing.

When asked why he is so passionate, McPhee said, “If you take it all the way back to the beginning, it is such a part of being a human being.

“If you take any culture on Earth, and you take moments that are important, you know: births, going to war, weddings, what do you always have?” To which the answer was “Music.”

McPhee, who was named “Busiest Conductor in the World”, brought it all to the table at Friday night’s performance.

There was a roaring applause every time the orchestra silenced their instruments and whenever the conductor walked on stage.

After each half of the show, standing ovations began and continued until everyone in the theater was on their feet.

KSC sophomore, Derrick Hegeman, a music major, said he felt that

Contributed by Alex Clark

Contributed by Alex Clark

the musicians did their jobs proficiently.

Hegeman said, “Knowing several of these pieces very well, I know that they executed them almost perfectly.”

Not one audience member seemed displeased with the performance given.

Aside from adults attending the performance, there was also a large number of students in the audience.

As to why the turn out was so great, it became clear that there were extra credit opportunities in the balance.

However, according to KSC sophomore David Green, no one was complaining.

Green, a computer science major, said he enjoyed the show immensely.

Contributed by Alex Clark

Contributed by Alex Clark

In reference to students attending for extra credit, he said, “It opens them up to a whole new culture of music, and makes them appreciate what used to be popular in the norm.”

The night went as planned, with a reception afterward along with a meet and greet with most of the orchestra.

It was a great opportunity for audience members to hold conversation with the professionals that had just been up on stage. Symphony NH came and went, and did so with class.

Justin Murray can be contacted at

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