CAT visits orchestra

Carissa Alaimo

Students traveled to the Kimmel Center on a CAT-sponsored trip for a free performance by the Philadelphia Orchestra on Sept. 25. Students had the chance to see a performance of the classical composers Tchaikovsky, Haydn and Lutoslawski by one of the leading orchestras in the world.

The concert itself was free, and for $5, CAT provided transportation to and from the Kimmel Center.

“I honestly believe that it was a very well-spent $5,” said Paul Martucci, director of promotions and public relations for CAT. “I’ve never been to the orchestra before, but seeing the talent of the musicians, the passion of the conductor and the dedication of everybody involved at the Philadelphia Orchestra – from the musicians to the courteous staff – was really impressive.”

Sept. 25 was the Kimmel Center’s kickoff night for its new eZseatU program for college students. The program offers unlimited admission to concerts all season for a flat $25 membership fee.

To attract attention for the program, it advertised its free college night to area colleges including Villanova.

When CAT got the invitation from the Kimmel Center, it decided to offer the opportunity to students.

“CAT is trying to emphasize the importance of cultural events,” said Sara Parr, the Best of Philly committee director for CAT. “We are starting to work with other organizations to bring cultural events of Philadelphia and the surrounding area to Villanova students.”

The trip sold out, with about 40 students attending. Some students attended the orchestra performance to fulfill a cultural event requirement for ACS. The concert was a huge success according to attendees.

“As a senior, I’ve seen many things in the city in the past three years, but very few things compare to the concert I saw,” said Sarah Barnett, president of CAT. “Some of the greatest musicians in the world perform in the orchestra, and for them to put on a free concert for a packed hall of college students was really special. Perhaps the funniest moment of the night was during intermission when the West Chester Golden Ram, the La Salle Explorer, the St. Joseph Hawk and the Villanova Wildcat were in the lobby taking pictures and enjoying the company of all the students at the concert.”

Due to the popularity of the trip, CAT officials said they plan on making this an annual event.The Philadelphia Orchestra is also trying to become student-friendly in other ways.

Discounted pricing for student tickets is available at $10 for advanced seating and at the door for $8 on the day of the concert. The orchestra has also created a Facebook paage.