St. Kate’s String Chamber Orchestra will have a free concert on Nov. 20, at 7:30 p.m. The event will feature classical pieces and will be held in Our Lady of Victory Chapel.

Ewa Bujak, conductor of the String Chamber Orchestra, has been conducting the orchestra for years. She also teaches violin lessons at St. Kate’s. She graduated from the Music University in Warsaw Poland, as well as the University of Minnesota School of Music. Bujak’s primary instruments are the violin and the viola. She has played both for over fifty years.

She comes from a long line of musicians, artists, and scientists in her family. “I fell in love with music as it was part of our home daily experience,” says Bujak. “My grandmother was a wonderful pianist and I loved listening to her play.”

This semester, the orchestra has 12 participants. The number varies from semester to semester, but the orchestra is always looking for more violinists and violists. Since it is a string orchestra, the instruments consists of violins, violas, cellos, and bass.

“[Each musician] play parts assigned to each instrumental section by a composer, following the score, which is a compendium of all the parts, that the conductor uses to guide the orchestra,” says Bujak.

Ewa has chosen some pieces that she hopes will draw an array of emotions from the audience. Some of the pieces that are being played are “Canon” by J.Pachelbel, “Le Triomphe de L’Amour” by J.B. Lully, “Ancient Airs and Dances” by O. Respighi, and more.

Now a commonly known classical musician, John Pachelbel was a German Baroque composer. In his lifetime, he has written over 500 pieces. He grew up in Nuremberg in the 1600s and played the organ. Later in his life, he even taught the man who later became a teacher to another famous composer, Johann Sebastian Bach.

Jean Baptiste Lully was a French operatic and court composer in the 1600s. He played the violin in the King’s court before he became a composer. Soon after, he was appointed the official musical composer to the king, and shortly after, the music master to the royal family.

Ottorino Respighi was an Italian composer in the late 1800s and early 1900s. He played the viola and many of his best works were opera pieces. He was known for introducing Russian sound to Italian music. He played in the Russian Imperial Theatre for a short time. That was where he met Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, a Russian composer. Respighi studied with Korsakov for five months, where he drew a lot of his Russian aspirations from.

With this music, “I hope we can convey [a] sense of elegance, beauty, as well as inherent drama and the sense of all of it being bigger than ourselves,” says Bujak.

This will be the second to last season of the String Chamber Orchestra. Due to budget cuts and new guidelines, the music department will be undergoing a lot of changes. Along with the string ensemble being eliminated, the choral society will be self-funded, and no student workers will be used in the theater program for productions. This was due to an evaluation done on the music and theatre department, which determined that the department was not performing at a sustainable cost to revenue ratio.

The art departments are working together to create a counter-proposal. The timeline of when the results will be published, or when an agreement will be reached, is still unknown.

The orchestra concert is free to the public. It will take place in Our Lady of Victory Chapel. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Reservations are not necessary.

For questions, comments, or if interested in joining the orchestra, please contact Ewa Bujak at