Washington State University Interim President Dan Bernardo recently took on a new role at the university, narrating the WSU Symphony Orchestra’s presentation of “Peter and the Wolf.”
“When they invited me,” Bernardo said, “I thought it would be a unique experience that I’d have only because I’m in this position.”
The free performance of Sergei Prokofiev’s children’s classic was Feb. 18 in Bryan Hall, and livestreamed for Global Campus students by WSU Global Connections, which also brings webinars, career consultations, and guest lectures to online students.
“Being the narrator is like being one of the instruments in the orchestra,” said Bernardo, who played trumpet in college. “The narrator has a very defined role, and has to come in at the right time and with the right tone.”
Bernardo’s trumpet experience quickly became apparent, said conductor Danh Pham. “He paces his speech patterns based on the sounds he hears,” Pham said. “He’s brought his own flair and interpretation—and made musical decisions that sound awesome.”
Music students were “star-struck” to learn they’d be playing alongside the university’s interim president, Pham said.
“Their lips were zipped and their ears were open,” he said. “And they played better—the electricity in the room when they’re rehearsing with him is just wonderful, absolutely spectacular.”