The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


ECO opens new season with guest cellist



staff writer


Since 1978, the Erie Chamber Orchestra has dedicated itself to its one and only mission: Ensuring the access of live classical concert music to every music lover, free of charge.

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No matter your age, education or income, the Erie Chamber Orchestra (ECO) invites everyone to come and listen at its 38th season of classical music concerts. This month kicks off its Season Opener at Cathedral Prep Auditorium Saturday.

For over 37 years, the ECO has expanded performances to more than just concerts. It has played at numerous events such as its tribute concerts to Martin Luther King Jr. on his day of remembrance, as well as its performances at the Erie Opera Theater and The Lake Erie Ballet’s rendition of “The Nutcracker.” Through each performance it has spread its love of classical music.

Tom Barton, a junior theatre and communication arts major, said he enjoys going to see the orchestra’s free concerts, especially since he would be willing to pay to see its performances.

“The music is really impressive; you can tell these people are professionals not only by how great the sound is, but by how much effort and time they spend in making these events possible,” Barton said.

The ECO features some of the Erie area’s most talented musicians, as well as a handful of special guests, all conducted by its music director Matthew Kraemer.

Saturday night’s concert will consist of a variety of classical selections that have been “brilliantly paired,” according to the ECO.

There will be four different selections including, “Petite Suite,” originally composed by French composer Claude Debussy, “Concierto en Tango,” by American composer Miquel del Aguila, “Los Esclavos Felices Overture,” by Spanish composer Manuel de Falla and “El Amor Brujo: Ballet Suite,” by Juan Crisostomo Arriaga.

Playing with the orchestra is special guest performer Roman Mekinulov, principal cellist of the Buffalo Philharmonic. Mekinulov was born in Russia and began playing the cello at the age of 5.

He graduated with a bachelor’s and master’s degree from The Julliard School in Manhattan and since then has won numerous awards, one being the first prize in the Five Towns Music Foundation Competition, a competition that judges the musical talent of musicians all around the world.

September is not the only month that the ECO will be playing. For all the music lovers out there, there is a calendar of events still to come.

In October, it is having a special Halloween viewing of the film “Psycho” at the Warner Theatre where ECO will be playing the soundtrack live along with the showing.

In November, a highly sought-after and famous violinist, Midori, comes to town and once again ECO allows you to hear her masterpieces for free.

December even brings a family event for the Christmas season, including a viewing of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” The season doesn’t end yet though; every month until June the ECO is holding event after event.

The ECO season opener will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Cathedral Prep Auditorium, located at 250 W. 10th St., in Erie. There is no fee, as all performances are free to the public.

More information about the ECO as well as its other shows and performance songs can be found on or



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