The music department put on their annual “From the Chamber” concert last Tuesday, Nov. 18. The event was hosted by Dr. Brian Cobb. It is designed as a showcase for music students at the college, it exclusively features acts with no amplification, but welcomes genres besides the featured classical.
The Carlson theater opened its doors to those in attendance at 7:20, and soon the guests were greeted by Jazz Band Director Jim Sisko, speaking for Cobb who had recently lost his voice.
The faculty left the stage and the lights dimmed, then Rebecca Putnam strolled into the spotlight with her viola. A nod later she took to the instrument, playing the prelude from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cello Suite No. 2. The viola is tuned an octave higher than the cello, meaning the arrangement was in a higher register than typical.
The next act was a voice and piano duet between Beverly Reil and Aki Fujino respectively. They played an excerpt from the “American Requiem” entitled “Blessed Are They,” followed by a song version of the Lord’s Prayer, arranged by Albert Hay Malotte.
Lam Tin Yan then returned the enterprise to the classical with Étude Op. 10 by Frédéric Chopin.
Next, Austin Jennings continued the tradition of classical performance etiquette, but opted to play a modern composition by fingerstyle guitarist Andy Mckee called “Drifting.” Jennings managed to maintain a percussive beat on the body of his instrument while conjuring the melody through hammered frets, humming harmonics and precision plucking, all the while keeping his suit’s sleeves separate the strings.
Following Jennings, Katie Lacayo performed “Clair de Lune,” the third movement from Claude Debussy’s “Suite bergamasque.”
Jim Sisko then brought Tyrell Schweiger, Bradley Bartos and Seth Mcalister on stage with him to perform as a brass quartet with their respective pairs of trumpets and trombones. The four played Epistel No. 1 by Carl-Michael Bellman and Petite Fugue by Bruno Chapelat, marking the end of the first half of the show.
After intermission, Chad Bickerdike announced Der Doppelganger would be delayed in its arrival by Die Forelle (the trout). Accompanied by Monica Ni on piano, Bickerdike sang the two folk songs by German composer Franz Schubert, translations for which were available on the back of the program.
The remaining acts all chose to perform classical compositions, beginning with Keely Rendle playing Partita in E major by Bach on solo violin. Following that, Monica Ni returned to the piano alone to play a Sonata in A minor by Mozart. Afterwards, the lid of the grand piano was opened for the final performance, wherein Wilhelmina Esary played one of Chopin’s Nocturnes to round out the night.
After Esary, Jim Sisko thanked the crowd and saw them off, mentioning that they will “probably find a little musical surprise.” In the foyer Sisko’s brass quartet put on a farewell performance of “Maple Leaf Rag” by Scott Joplin.
“From the Chamber” is a quarterly showcase for music students taking lessons for credit through the college, either with the faculty or with private tutors outside of the school. This year’s group of performers was but along with Sisko’s quartet, Austin Jennings also does not take take lessons through the college. Jennings explained that a teacher of his had taken an interest in his music, and told him he “should look into From the Chamber,” he then emailed Cobb, who invited him to join the performers.
Sisko explained he “wanted to play this concert” and that the music department seeks “to support the concept of these chamber concerts in any way.” Whether students are taking lessons or not, Sisko says the show is “critical to the health of the department” and explained “it is important that we keep a good flow of music in supporting an event like this.”
Music students who are interested in an opportunity to perform are encouraged to contact Dr. Brian Cobb. The entire show was professionally recorded and was an opportunity to build one’s portfolio.