December 5, 2021

OtterCap: Capital and Otterbein join for Halloween orchestra

While Capital and Otterbein may be known as rivals on the field, the schools’ orchestras have come together to create one ensemble, the OtterCap orchestra. 

Capital and Otterbein’s orchestra will be performing a few Halloween pieces on Oct. 31.

Jim Bates, the director of OtterCap orchestra, gave some background on OtterCap and insight on what can be expected from the Halloween concert. 

According to Bates, the idea for OtterCap began when Tom Zugger, Capital’s dean of the Conservatory of Music, reached out to Bates to discuss if he had an interest in creating a joint orchestra. 

Capital did not have enough string players to staff a string section for a symphony orchestra, and “Otterbein has more string players, but not the strength of wind players and percussion,” Bates said, so it made sense for the two groups to combine. 

OtterCap can be seen in action in Mees Hall at 7 p.m. on Halloween night. 

“This is the first performance of the combined ensemble, and it demonstrates the success of the venture,” Bates said. “But the OtterCap Symphony Orchestra provides the Otterbein students with a student-staffed full orchestra experience and provides the Capital students with a full orchestra experience that is student-led, as well.” 

Shown is the string bass section of the OtterCap orchestra.
The string bass section of the OtterCap orchestra. Photo courtesy of Shannon Craig.

Concert-goers can expect to hear some iconic Halloween pieces. 

The program will begin with “Night on Bald Mountain” by Modest Mussorgsky, which is part of the Disney Fantasia soundtrack. This will be followed by the string players and some added percussion in a rendition of Eric Whitacre’s “October.” The concert will conclude with “The Internet Symphony: Eroica” by Tan Dun. 

“I have personally enjoyed this experience and I am looking forward to working with the Capital students in the spring term,” Bates said. “They are a talented and eager group and I appreciate the work they have put into this program.”

Bates urges students to attend the concert, even though it takes place on Halloween night. 

“It is a short concert and there will be plenty of time for Halloween mayhem afterward,” Bates commented.

OtterCap’s Halloween concert is the ensemble’s first, but not last, performance. 

The orchestra will present another concert in March, with string players from both Otterbein and Capital collaborating with the Columbus Cultural Orchestra on a hip-hop project. 

OtterCap will continue to work together for the remainder of the academic year. Fans of music looking for something to do on Halloween, a Sunday night, can head to Mees Hall to see OtterCap’s first performance.

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