“Master Works”, concert hall combine for magical event

04-08-15 PH Master Works Concert_0058
photo courtesy of The Crest

By Mike Stanford
Executive News Editor
Orchestra Director Peter Weber was cruising off the expressway on his way home from work last year when he saw a sign for the North Shore Center for Performing Arts in Skokie.
In the midst of a hunt for a venue for a concert, Weber looked up the concert hall and began to work with them to set up an event.
On April 8, Weber’s plans came to fruition when the Orchestra and Choir put on a combined show, titled “Master Works”. The concert marks first time Prospect has hosted any event in the venue and one of the few instances where Orchestra and Choir are able to collaborate.
Prior to selecting a venue, the music department was making plans for this school year. When the idea for a combined concert came up, everyone hopped on board. However, they did not just want to host a generic concert in their normal venue, the cafeteria.
“We thought that if we we were going to put time and energy into this with [both the Orchestra and the Choir], we wanted to be able to present it in true concert fashion, which is upon stage and under the lights in a place that sounds really good,” Weber said.
Weber decided the North Shore Venue for Performing Arts in Skokie would have the right environment with acoustics and ambiance.
When the concert started, junior violinist Kyle Schildgen immediately noticed acoustics.
“Every single inch of the building of the building was filled with sound,” Schildgen said. “ You could tell the audience’s faces were just like, ‘Wow.’”
According to Schildgen, the highlight of the night was the last piece, “Battle hymn of the Republic”. All performers were up on stage together and were sent off with a standing ovation.
When all is said and done, Weber believes the night was a great experience for all people involved.
“[The concert] really felt like an event, like a special thing,” Weber said. “Because we were there just to celebrate music making at its best, it really became a magical event.”
Schildgen agrees and believes the show’s impact resonated strongly with students.
“[The concert hall] made us feel professional,” Schildgen said. “[At Prospect] it’s just carpet, tile floors and concrete walls, but on the stage it was like, ‘Wow!’”