The Georgia Tech Symphony Orchestra performing at the Ferst Center

Georgia Tech School of Music Presents:
Romantic Masters VII: Rachmaninoff Second

Georgia Tech School of Music Presents:
Romantic Masters VII: Rachmaninoff Second

Tuesday, April 11th, 2023
7:30 pm
Ferst Center for the Arts

Chaowen Ting, Conductor


The GT Symphony Orchestra opens its second and final concert of the semester with selected movements from Sarah Kirkland Snider’s hauntingly melancholy song cycle Penelope, a modern take on the classic story of Odysseus returning home after the Trojan War. The performance features vocals by soprano Amy Petrongelli and electronics, in addition to strings. The orchestra will then perform the entirety of Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony, an hourlong triumph of a work filled with intense, brooding themes, lush, romantic melodies, and exuberant fanfares in turn, thoroughly showcasing the composer’s melodic genius and orchestration skills. 


Sarah Kirkland Snider (1973-)

Amy Petrongelli, voice

Selections from Penelope (2009) 

      5. Nausicaa 

      11. And Then You Shall Be Lost Indeed 

      10. Calypso 

      14. As He Looks Out to Sea 

Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) 

Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27 (1906-08) 

      I. Largo – Allegro moderato 

      II. Allegro molto 

      III. Adagio 

      IV. Allegro vivace 

Program Notes – Penelope

Penelope is a song cycle by composer Sarah Kirkland Snider, with lyrics by playwright Ellen McLaughlin, featuring vocalist Shara Worden and the chamber orchestra Signal. Inspired by Homer's epic poem, the Odyssey, Penelope is a meditation on memory, identity, and what it means to come home. 

Suspended somewhere between art song, indie rock, and chamber folk, the music of Penelope moves organically from moments of elegiac strings-and-harp reflection to dusky post-rock textures with drums, guitars and electronics, all directed by a strong sense of melody and a craftsman’s approach to songwriting. 

Penelope originated as a music-theater monodrama, co-written by McLaughlin and Snider in 2007-2008 and commissioned by the J. Paul Getty Center. In the work, originally scored for alto/actor and string quartet, a woman’s husband appears at her door after an absence of twenty years, suffering from brain damage. A veteran of an unnamed war, he doesn’t know who he is and she doesn’t know who he’s become. While they wait together for his return to himself, she reads him the Odyssey, and in the journey of that book, she finds a way into her former husband’s memory and the terror and trauma of war. 

In 2009 Snider re-conceived Penelope as a song cycle, expanding and tailoring it to the unique talents of vocalist Shara Worden and the chamber orchestra Signal, and collaborating with programmer Michael Hammond on sound design. Worden and Signal, under the direction of conductor Brad Lubman, recorded this version of Penelope with producer Lawson White November 3-6, 2009, at Clinton Studios in New York, NY.

Headshot of Sarah Kirkland Snider

Composer Bio – Sarah Kirkland Snider

Composer Sarah Kirkland Snider writes music of direct expression and vivid narrative that has been hailed as “rapturous” (The New York Times), “groundbreaking” (The Boston Globe), and “poignant, deeply personal” (The New Yorker). Recently named one of the “Top 35 Female Composers in Classical Music” by The Washington Post, Snider’s works have been commissioned and/or performed by the New York Philharmonic; San Francisco Symphony; National Symphony Orchestra; Detroit Symphony Orchestra; Philharmonia Orchestra; the Birmingham Royal Ballet; Deutsche Grammophon for mezzo Emily D’Angelo; percussionist Colin Currie; vocalist Shara Nova; eighth blackbird; A Far Cry; and Roomful of Teeth, among many others. The winner of the 2014 Detroit Symphony Orchestra Lebenbom Competition, Snider’s recent projects include Forward Into Light, an orchestral commission for the New York Philharmonic inspired by the American women’s suffrage movement; Mass for the Endangered, a Trinity Wall Street-commissioned prayer for the environment for choir and ensemble; and an opera on 12th-century polymath St. Hildegard von Bingen, commissioned by Beth Morrison Projects.  

The 22/23 season will see world premieres for Renée Fleming and Will Liverman; Decoda Ensemble; and the Emerson String Quartet, in their final commission, to premiere on their farewell tour. Penelope and Unremembered, her two genre-defying LP song cycles, earned critical acclaim from The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Gramophone Magazine, and Pitchfork, among others. In Fall 2020, Nonesuch Records and New Amsterdam Records co-released Snider’s third LP: Mass for the Endangered, performed by English vocal ensemble Gallicantus, to wide critical acclaim. In Fall 2022, Nonesuch Records and New Amsterdam Records will release The Blue Hour, a collaborative song cycle with composers Rachel Grimes, Angélica Negrón, Shara Nova, and Caroline Shaw for vocalist Shara Nova with A Far Cry string orchestra, on text by Carolyn Forché. A founding Co-Artistic Director of Brooklyn-based non-profit New Amsterdam Records, Snider has an M.M. and Artist’s Diploma from the Yale School of Music, and a B.A. from Wesleyan University. Her music is published by G. Schirmer.   

Headshot of Amy Petrongelli

Soloist Bio - Amy Petrongelli

Lauded in the New York Times for her “admirable fluidity,” soprano Amy Petrongelli’s diverse performance career embraces both traditional and contemporary repertoire, from Haydn’s Creation in Carnegie Hall to Berio’s Sequenza III at the Radio Nacional Córdoba in Argentina. In 2020, Amy was honored with an Emerging Artist Award from the University of Michigan for her significant contributions to the field of music performance. 

Amy has been a featured performer for organizations such as Five Boroughs Music Festival, the Casement Fund Recital Series, and the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival. Particularly at home in contemporary repertoire, Amy has premiered new works for organizations such as the Houston Grand Opera’s HGOco, New American Voices, and AEPEX Contemporary Performance and has collaborated with members of Eighth Blackbird, Bent Frequency, Alarm Will Sound, Latitude 49, and the Metropolis Ensemble. Recent premieres include works by Laura Kaminsky, Emma O’Halloran, Nina Shekhar, Nicolas Lell Benavides, Juliana Hall, and David Biedenbender. Amy is also the vocalist and co-artistic director of Khemia Ensemble, an ensemble dedicated to reflecting diverse perspectives in contemporary classical chamber music through immersive, multimedia performances. 

A passionate educator, Amy is currently a member of the voice faculty at the University of Georgia, having previously taught at Baylor University, Penn State University, Eastern Michigan University, and the University of Akron. She is the Director of the Collaborative Piano Institute Vocal Academy summer program at Louisiana State University and has held guest faculty positions at the Brancaleoni International Music Festival and the International Choral Conducing Masterclass Program. She holds a BME in choral music from Central Michigan University and a MM and DMA in voice performance from the University of Michigan. 

Ensemble Members

Violin I

Raymond Jia, Concertmaster

Computer Engineering, 1st year masters

Daeyong Kwon

Computer Science, 1st year

Madison Park

Mechanical Engineering, 2nd year

Lawrence Ro

Electrical Engineering, 2nd year

Felix Pei

Electrical Engineering, 4th year

Eileen Liu

Computer Engineering, 3rd year

Adrian Cheung

Computer Science, 1st year

Alex Wang

Computer Science, 1st year

Johnathan Shi

Music Technology, 1st year

Archishma Goli

Computer Science, 1st year

Bharat Kanwar

Robotics, 4th year PhD

Sohum Gala

Computer Science, 4th year

Gregory Zhang

Industrial Engineering, 3rd year

Nathan Lin

Computer Science, 1st year

Violin II

Harold Graney Green, Principal 

Computer Science, 3rd year

Julia Fleischman

Environmental Engineering, 1st year

Banglue Wei

Aerospace Engineering, 2nd year

Chengrui Li

Computational Science and Engineering, 2nd year PhD

Alexander Hom

Mechanical Engineering, 2nd year

Emily Primmer

Biology, 3rd year

Irene Oh

Computer Science, 1st year

Joshua Sampson

Computer Science, 1st year

Nikhil Damani

Computer Engineering, 4th year

Rick Nguyen

Computational Media, 2nd year

Sarang Pujari

Computer Science, 1st year

Christia Saputera

Business Administration, 1st year


Ivy Xue

Neuroscience, 3rd year

Sujay Rao

Aerospace Engineering, 2nd year

Olivia Johnson-Liu

Business Administration, 3rd year

Emily Liu

Aerospace Engineering, 4th year

Michelle Wang

Computer Science, 3rd year

Emma Axelson

Civil Engineering, 1st year masters

Ayush Narain

Computer Science, 1st year

Esha Sringeri

Neuroscience, 1st year


Harrison Zhu

Computer Science, 4th year

Sean Yoshihara

Computer Science, 1st year

Matthew Zhou

Computer Science, 2nd year

Benjamin Borthwick

Computer Science, 2nd year

Nat Wertz

Computer Science, 3rd year

Madeleine Belew

Computer Engineering, 3rd year

Peter Gardner

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, 3rd year

Sergey Blinov

Physics/Mathematics, 2nd year


Atharva Gujrathi, Principal

Aerospace Engineering, 1st year

Hyun Choi

Physics, 4th year

Eric Shute

Mechanical Engineering, 4th year


Alex Yang *

Economics, 1st year 

Haley McLain

Biochemistry, 2nd year 

Ama Maiki

Environmental Engineering, 4th year


Oliver Long

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, 2nd year

Tyler Breaux

Aerospace Engineering, 1st year

Anthony Otlowski *

Aerospace Engineering, 2nd year


Nathan Duggal *

Computer Science, 1st year

Kevin Li

Mechanical Engineering, 1st year

Andrew Warwick



Lucille Dentice *

Materials Science and Engineering, 4th year 

Vishaal Kareti

Computer Science, 2nd year


Alex Bendeck *

Computer Science, 2nd year PhD

Carlos Sanchez

Biomedical Engineering, 1st year

Andrew Sehmann


Dilon Bryan



Camryn Aguilar

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, 1st year

Daniel Hudadoff *

Electrical and Computer Engineering, 2nd year masters

Matthew Liu

Civil Engineering, 4th year


Tony Qin

Mathematics, 1st year

Justin Zandstra *

Mathematics, 4th year

Zixiao Yang

Mechanical Engineering, 3rd year

Eli Corley

Computer Engineering, 2nd year


Alexander Coles

Industrial Engineering, 2nd year


Kwanwoo Lee 

Computer Science, 1st year 

Ulyana Buslovska 

Mathematics, 1st year 

Anthony Candelmo

Computer Science, 1st year

Keshav Anand

Physics, 4th year


Daniel Noelle

Computer Science, 1st year


Denotes principal player:  *Rachmaninoff

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Georgia Tech School of Music

Through interdisciplinary degree programs, outstanding performance ensembles, and innovative research endeavors, the Georgia Tech School of Music cultivates a rich legacy of musical traditions and develops cutting-edge technologies to help define music's future. The School serves students in bachelors, masters, and doctoral programs in music technology and offers innovative performance opportunities, courses, and cultural and artistic experiences for students throughout the Institute.