According to conductor, Karles McQuade, “the greatest challenge Intermezzo faced this semester was preparing and performing the tenor chorus "Wachet Auf" from JS Bach's Cantata no. 140. Nearly 6 minutes long, this work is double the standard length that Intermezzo usually performs.” In addition to the length, Intermezzo students were exposed to performing with baroque bows, which would have been appropriate for the music of Bach's era, but sound and feel very different from the modern conventional bows in place since the mid 1800s. Being a baroque work, the piece also called for a continuo part, usually played on organ or harpsichord. In this instance the part was played by one of our violinists, who also has previous keyboard experience, on the harpsichord. To pile on the challenges further, Intermezzo was joined by rev. Doug Escue, who sang the tenor part. Accompanying a singer, managing a full orchestral sound without drowning out a soloist, was yet a another new experience for Intermezzo. Despite all this novelty and challenge, the Intermezzo kids most certainly rose to the occasion, and will begin in the spring ready for, as Michael Palin puts it, "Something completely different."
For the Youth Philharmonia performance, three students were asked to research the selection and composers of the pieces that the group would be performing. Olivia Bell, "Legend"; Dean Gonzales", Dance of the Tumblers" and Xitlalitl-Rodas, "La Cumparcita". Conductor Richard Snider remarks that “they did a splendid job not only in their research and substance, but in their presentation to a full auditorium.”