From the chamber came inspiration

On Wednesday night, Nov. 29, music students gathered for a chamber music concert in the Carlson theatre, featuring solo instrumental music. The performances highlighted the hard work of students enrolled in music courses and private instruction at Bellevue College. The concert was lead by Dr. Brian Cobb, a Private Instruct & Theory Coordinator at BC. He also teaches composition and Jazz Combo performance. The guest performer for the evening was a music instructor at BC, Mark Wilson, who performed on the guitar.

The event showcased a variety of styles, but all of the pieces shared characteristics and techniques from classical chamber music. The program included the works of familiar composers, ranging from Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Rachmaninoff. Two students, Max Wang and Carly Worden, performed original compositions.

The “From the Chamber” concert was held because “in the past few years, there really hasn’t been an opportunity for instrumentalists [to perform] and that’s what we are trying to provide,” said Dr. Cobb.

The sunken semi-circle stage and bright lights positioned over the piano gave a dramatic effect to the performances. Students were elegantly dressed to share projects refined throughout the quarter. Anne Rendle kicked off the concert on violin, followed by a soprano soloist, Stephanie Hobart, who performed “The Little Horses” by Aaron Copland. The evening featured many classics on piano and guitar.

The concert served as an outlet to use skills learned in music classes at BC.

Just as learning a language can teach students to communicate with other cultures.

Playing music can serve the same purpose. Mark Wilson, the evening’s special guest, played songs on the guitar found all over the globe, including “Suite Caucasienne pour guitar,” “Couler Marmara.” “Aram (Homage a Aram Katchaturian)”and “Journal d’istiklal” by Laurent Boutros.

Dr. Cobb’s music composition students also were an impressive addition the concert.  Max Wang shared his own composition “Fuller Abyss,” a song inspired by personal experiences. Carly Worden performed an excerpt from her self-written pirate musical, titled “Avenging the Blue.” Both pieces emanated the expertise and creativity of BC students.

Providing an opportunity for performance experience was greatly appreciated by students. “As someone who’s performed, I’ve always found it helpful to do so as much as possible. Every opportunity to play at a rehearsal helps you the next time. You become less nervous because you become used to performance anxiety and learn how to deal with it. It’s helpful to perform a lot. It makes it easier every time” said Mary Lovett, who played “Prelude in D Major op.23, No. 4” by Sergei Rachmaninoff. For instructors, concerts are also an important part of the teaching experience.

“I’d like to find more composers [at BC] to write music for all of the instrumentalists and singers. That’s what I’m passionate about,” Dr. Cobb offered in closing.

End off the fall quarter by attending the music department’s choral concert “Sounds of the Season” on Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. in the Carlson theatre. For more information about music programs at BC, visit the webpage at