House Staff Alumnus to Conduct Orchestra

Samuel Wong, MD, a graduate of the ophthalmology residency program at Columbia and a noted orchestra conductor, will conduct this weekend’s performance of the CUMC Symphony Orchestra, a group that was relaunched last fall after a decade’s absence.

The performance at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 13, is free and open to the public. The orchestra, made of up faculty, student, and staff musicians from throughout the medical center, will perform works by Rossini and Mendelssohn in the P&S Alumni Auditorium.

Dr. Wong, a practicing ophthalmologist, has had a successful conducting career, appearing with many internationally recognized orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and the Royal Philharmonic. Columbia’s medical school magazine profiled Dr. Wong in its Fall 2006 issue.

The CUMC Orchestra was reorganized last fall. It performed in November after approximately 50 members spent nine hours on Saturday and six on Sunday rehearsing Beethoven’sSymphony No.5 in C minor, Op.67Symphony No.5 in C minor, Op.67 Fifth Symphony Symphony No.5 in C minor, Op.67ahead of the Sunday afternoon performance. Read more about the group’s performance.

“The spring performance will follow a similar routine,” says Stephen Ma, an MD/PhD student. “In an effort to spread out rehearsal times, Dr. Wong graciously agreed to begin rehearsals on Friday, and dedicated section leaders agreed to lead their sections in extra practice sessions in the weeks leading up to the concert. With these changes and the continued leadership of our wonderful board, the orchestra hopes to build on the foundations laid down in the fall.”

The group, which evolved from the Bard Chamber Orchestra, was formed in 1992 by P&S students Julie Lin and Frank David as a way to bring together musicians from across the medical school. The new orchestra is open to all CUMC musicians of all experience levels.