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Student performances exemplify talent at Western

Anna Aughenbaugh

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On Feb. 19, the College of Fine Arts and Communication showcased the talents of a few of Western IllinoisUniversity’s School of Music students. Two concerts were performed; one by a graduate student and the other by an undergraduate fulfilling her qualification for the Centennial Honors College.

Brian Kalina is a graduate student who is attending Western to study piano performance. Brian performeda challenging program featuring impressive pieces of musical literature. He opened up his concert with a musical piece composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. “Prelude and Fugue in C-sharp Major” is a very cheerful piece that is a fantastic opener for any recital. The piece is full of energy and positive vibes, demonstrating just a sampling of musical talent to be enjoyed throughout the show.

The next piece that the graduate student performed was almost a half an hour by itself! “Carnaval, Opus 9,” composed by Robert Schumann in 1895, is one of the composer’s most frequently used pieces of musical literature for the piano. The Schumann piece is very brilliant and virtuosic. Kalina did a wonderful job performing this piece and it really shows the time and effort put into his recital.

Following the “Carnaval” piece, Kalina performed a musical piece titled “Sonata in A-flat Major, Op. 110” that was composed by Ludwig van Beethoven. This piece had three movements. The graduate student showcased his talents when he presented this piece at his recital, demonstrating the amazing skills that the School of Music helped foster.

Brian Kaline finished his impressive graduate recital with Basso Ostinato, composed by Rodion Shchedrin. In order to fully understand the kind of talent that the graduate students at Western have, one really needs to watch it for themselves. Luckily for those who were unable attend this concert, the video of the entire concert can be found on YouTube. People can also always go to the music library, where they have all of the recitals and concerts performed at the College of Fine Arts and Communication Hall recorded for anyone to listen to and study.

It was not only the graduate students who got a chance to shine this weekend. On Sunday, following Kalina’s piano recital, a music education major performed a recital as well. Maureen Doran is a senior here at Western whose primary instrument is the flute. She studies with the flute professorJohn McMurtery and isalso a Centennial Honors College student.

The Centennial Honors College requires students to create some sort of project, respective to their major, for honors credit. Creating a program of important musical pieces and writing about them was Doran’s big project for the honors college. She had help picking pieces with Dr. McMurtery, but had to organize the concert that had a mixture of solos and ensemble work on her own.

The senior opened up her concert with a flute solo. “Flute Concert No. 1 in G Major K.313,” composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, is a beautiful opener and was a great choice to open a recital. Maureen Doran performed the first movement “Allegro Maestro” — a musical piece that shows the playful and cheerful nature of the flute. The Mozart piece showcased the senior’s talent and ability to perform such beautiful musical literature.

Another piece that Maureen Doran performed was “Sonata for Flute and Piano,” which was composed by Walter Piston, who is an American composer who also taught at Harvard. Maureen Doran performed the first two movements from this piece and it had a more serious tone than the first piece did — the senior flute player said that this was her favorite piece in her recital. Doran chose pieces in a way that it showcased different ways that the flute can be played and utilized.

The last solo that Doran performed was “First Sonata for Flute and Piano,” written by Bohuslav Martinu. In this song, the flute mimics the sound of a bird. The story behind this piece is quite interesting; the composer once nursed a bird back to health and decided to write this sonata about his experience, hence the bird mimicry. Also, interestingly enough, although the title is “First Sonata for Flute and Piano,” Martinu never composed a second sonata. Doran said “working with the accompanist with these solos was the most challenging yet rewarding part of putting together this recital.”

After this solo, Maureen Doran showed her ability to lead musicians, which will be a very important tool as a future music educator. She put together a flute ensemble piece with the Western Illinois University Flute Studio. “‘Arpeggione’ Sonata Movement 1,” composed by Franz Schubert and then arranged by Shaul Ben-Meir, showcased the talent that the undergraduate School of Music has to offer. All of the musicians blended their sounds in the seven-part flute piece without the use of a conductor — an incredibly challenging task for musicians.

All in all, this past weekend was a fantastic weekend for music in Macomb. To ensure you never miss out again on the great and free musical recitals that Western Illinois University has to offer, follow the School of Music on Facebook or go to the College of Fine Arts and Communication to pick up a schedule of all of the planned events put on this Spring.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Student performances exemplify talent at Western