Posts Tagged ‘student recitals’

Art-Inspired Songs at Friday Afternoon Student Recital

Friday, May 25th, 2012

(from L) Nick, Will and Corwin listen to Kevin play

By Marcia E. Gawecki

“It’s our version of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition or Satie’s Sports et Divertissements,” said Kevin Michael Sullivan of his Honors Composition class recital at Stephens at 2:30 p.m. today, Friday, May 25.

It’s an all-student collaboration in which songs were inspired by art pieces. (See blog post, ‘Music Comp Collaborates with Visual Artists,’ dated May 9).

The three student songwriters–William, Corwin and Nick–will showcase their songs that were inspired by art created by Zoe, Inga and Josh (Lin Xuan).

They will be performed today by Dr. Jeanette-Louise Yaryan on piano.

After the performance, there will be a short Q&A session with Dr. Yaryan and the student composers and artists. Like all recitals at Idyllwild Arts, it will be streamed via UStream on the school website.

Over the last two years, Kevin said, the music composition students have composed works for solo oboe; art songs for baritone and piano with lyrics by members of the Creative Writing department; a string quartet; and a reed trio.

For one song, Nick will strum the exposed piano

The class has also created a closed Facebook group where they post links to music, articles, study scores and other resources and, most importantly, post drafts of the scores of the students’ compositions.

“I have invited composers from across the globe to join this group and take part in our discussions,” Kevin said. “This exposes the students to a variety of ideas, examples and compositional techniques and  approaches.”

The contributors included Stephen Serpa and Jessie Alexander Brown of the Harrt School of Music, Jason Gerraughty, SUNY Stony Brook,  Noam Faingold, Kings College London, and Josh Gates, NC School of the Arts/ The Tatnall School.

This will be the first time that the three student artists will hear the music compositions inspired by their art. Zoe’s photograph features two portraits blended together, Inga has an abstract landscape and Josh’s painting entitled,”Greedy,” features a pig eating another pig while other pigs watch.

(from L) Josh with Vita. His painting features pigs eating each other.

The art and music composition recital today is free and open to the public. Stephens Recital Hall is the first building to the left as you cross the bridge at the end of Tollgate Road in Idyllwild.

For more information, call (951) 265-6755 or visit www.idyllwildarts.org.

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

2nd Annual Student Oboe & Clarinet Recital

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

(from R) Camille and Jeanette take a bow

By Marcia E. Gawecki

For the second year in a row, Camille and Shen have hosted their classical music recitals together.

Their Idyllwild Arts senior recital, featuring oboe and clarinet, was held on Tuesday, May 8, at 7:30 p.m. at Stephens Recital Hall.

Each gave a lively performance and were happy and breathless afterwards. At one point, Camille thought she was going to pass out, but didn’t.

Camille and Shen are friends, fellow orchestra members and complement each other well, like Bogie and Bacall.

Shen hails from China, while Camille was born in Los Angeles to Chinese parents. Shen is gregarious and short with dimples, while Camille is aloof, brainy, and leggy.

They even share the same last name.
“Liu is a pretty common name in China, like Smith is in the U.S.,” said Camille.

Shen lost the toss, so Camille would play first at their recital. Going first is always better because oftentimes a majority of the audience leaves to socialize or study before their 10 p.m. curfew.

“I know that most of them will stay because Shen is really popular,” said Camille beforehand.

(from R) Shen with Nelms

This year, Shen won the Idyllwild Arts Concerto Competition, which meant he got to perform as a soloist along with the Idyllwild Arts Orchestra.

Shen was also a prefect, or student advisor, during the year. In the fall, he will attend Juilliard School of Music in New York. Lake, a jazz bass player and Idyllwild Arts senior will join him.

Not to be outdone, Camille got more than 2200 score on her SATs, and will be going to Northwestern University in Evanston in the fall.

Camille will continue her musical studies, but is looking forward to Northwestern’s academic challenge.

Last year, during their junior recitals, both only had to play only :30 minutes each, but as seniors, they had to play :45 minutes each.

“I think mine went over 10 minutes, so Shen got cheated a little bit,” admitted Camille.

For her first number, Camille played J.S. Bach’s “Sonata in G Minor BMV 1020” with Jeanette Louise Yaryan on piano. It sounded like a mellow piece. At times, Camille’s oboe sounded more like a flute. But then the Allego gave way to fast fingers, and Camille gave a sigh of relief at its end.

“Concerto in C Major, K 314” by W. A. Mozart showed off Camille’s ability to play long notes. Benny Kleinerman accompanied her on piano.

For her third selection, Camille was reunited with bassoon player, Felix, and Nelm McKelvain on piano. Just weeks before, the three had played Francis Poulenc’s “Trio for Piano, Oboe and Bassoon” at Felix’s Junior Recital.

“I’m helping her because she helped me,” said Felix as he headed for the dressing room.

It was the same piece, but somehow it sounded differently that night.

(from L) Brian Cohen talks with Camille's dad afterwards while her mom and Peter Askim listen in

“I think Nelms started out faster this time,” said Felix later.

The Presto, Adante and Rondo parts of that song reminded me of a flirtation or courtship. Like songbirds calling out to each other between the trees.

All three looked at each other for timing cues and sounded like they really enjoyed the piece. Nelms was smiling most of the time from behind the piano.

The recital ended with Camille Saint-Saens’ “Sonata in D Major, Op. 166.”

Even though her oboe teacher, Francisco Castillo from Redlands was not in the audience, he was there in spirit. Just the day before, Camille had a lesson with him  She’ll see him again before the fall.

“I don’t know how to say good-bye,” Camille said. “He’s been my teacher since I was ten.”

Music Director Peter Askim and Headmaster Brian Cohen spoke to Camille’s parents afterwards, and Peter and Music Department Head Ryan Zwahlen congratulated Camille.

“She did a great job,” said Ryan, who also plays the oboe.  “Everything she played was difficult. She’s really come a long way.”

Needless to say, not everyone in the audience left after intermission. In fact, a few more people came after the break to see Shen. It was a full house for both.

Camille was all smiles afterwards

Shen started out strong with a short and lively piece by Henri Rabaud, “Solo de Concours.” It showcased his ability to go up and down the scales on his clarinet with rapid accuracy.

Unlike Camille, Shen didn’t change piano players, but kept with Nelms McKelvain the whole time. Their next piece, “Sonatina” by Malcolm Arnold, showed the complexities of both instruments. At times, the music sounded frenetic.

Shen’s next piece, “Fantasia da Concerto ‘La Traiata’ by D. Verdi by Donato Lovreglio, was Peter Askim’s favorite.

“I really liked how you played the opera,” Peter told Shen afterwards. “It showed a lot of colors.”

From the look of things, it was a difficult piece to do because Shen was breathing heavy afterwards.

After that piece, Shen mixed it up with “Sonata” by Francis Proulenc. The audience, made up of mostly music students and staff members, whooped it up after that piece was finished.

George Gershwin’s “Preludes for Clarinet and Piano Accompaniment,” arranged by James Cohn, was an interesting end to Shen’s recital. It seemed more ragtime than classical.

“No Gershwin’s music is in the classical realm,” defended Camille afterwards.

The best part is that Shen looked like he was having a ball playing it. Maybe because it was his last high school recital, and he was savoring every moment.

(from L) Shen poses with Ryan

Shen, too, will find it difficult to say good-bye to his teacher, Yehuda Gilead, from USC, who has been more of a mentor than a clarinet teacher. Yehuda wasn’t there at the concert, but Shen went to LA the next day with the disk in hand to discuss the performance with him.

In the audience was YiLing, an Idyllwild Arts music alum, who now attends Boston Conservatory, and was on summer break.

“He did a great job,” YiLing said, as they posed for pictures afterwards.

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

 

 

Creative Writers Recite Thursday Night

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Austin and his classmate, Austin, will recite tonight.

By Marcia E. Gawecki

Tonight three seniors from the Creative Writing Department will recite some of their favorite works from their time spent at Idyllwild Arts.

It’s the second night of a two-part series. Wednesday night featured works by Katie, Taylor and Madi. Tonight’s event featuring Amber, Austin and Austin will be held at 7:30 p.m. at Stephens Recital Hall.

Stephens is the place where great music happens. All of the junior and senior classical instrumental recitals were held there. And the classical and jazz voice majors sang there too. On Tuesday night, the place was packed and sweaty with jazz fans eager to hear the Final Jazz Concert. Even empty, the place resonates with sound.

Granted, it doesn’t sound like much excitement will be happening tonight at Stephens. Three seniors will come up to the mike at the podium and read. What could be more boring that that? Two guys and a girl reading passages from a book? No music, no dancers, not even video in the background.

But I can’t think of any place that I’d rather be tonight.

Writing is so powerful that you don’t need “all that jazz.” You can just read out loud and captivate your audience. Remember story time at preschool? And bedtime stories with your family? We’d all gather around my dad on the bed and have him read book after book until his eyes crossed.

“Read it again, Daddy!” my sister would exclaim.

Sometimes he would read the same book again, or pick another. The worst words were when he’d yawn loudly and say, “OK, that’s enough for tonight. Everyone get some sleep.”

I miss people reading to me so much that I’d even get “warm fuzzies” when my boyfriend would read the directions out loud on how to install a new appliance.

“Read it again, honey,” I’d say. “I didn’t hear the last part.”

Stephens is the place where jazz recitals are held.

So tonight, when Amber, Austin and Austin (what are the chances of that?) will read some poetry, plays and short stories excerpts, I want to be front row and center. Nothing is more exciting to hear a writer recite his own words that he started long ago on a blank page.

Most writers don’t have great voices. They can be kind of weasly and quiet. The pen takes over where they lack in sound. However, to their credit, Austin and Austin both have great voices. Perhaps it comes from all of that reading practice in class. One of the Austins was a lead in a student movie called, “Penelope,” that will be released next week. Maybe saying, “Oh, my love!” so many times helped his voice.

Boring setup, weasly voices aside, it’s the content that we die for. These writers will recite the best of what they’ve written while they’ve been here at Idyllwild Arts. Maybe some of their best works came during their freshman year, when they were younger and more naive. Perhaps years of living in the woods has opened up their eyes to the wonder of nature. Or years of co-ed living has given way to love and lust that can only be expressed on paper.

If you want to get a preview of some of tonight’s works, pick up a copy of “Parallax, the Spring 2011 Edition.” It’s available for free in the bookstore and in the Parks Exhibition Center. It’s less than 150 pages, but chock full of stories, poetry, plays, and peppered with photographs and illustrations from the Visual Art Department.

Some of the word choices and content will be shocking. Lesbian love, menstrual cycles and butt picking are a few that I came across.

Austin only laughed at me.

“We’re teenagers,” he said. “We’re supposed to shock.”

Scarlett, another writer, didn’t agree.

“What is so shocking about that?” she asked.

So tonight, you be the judge. Come early and sit on the folding chairs, amongst students and staff members that you haven’t met yet. But know that you are among friends who’ve all come together for one reason: To hear gifted young writers read to us.

The show starts at 7:30 p.m. at Stephens Recital Hall. It’s free and open to the public. Stephens is located on campus at the end of Tollgate Road in Idyllwild. For more information, visit www.idyllwildarts.org or call (951) 659-2171.

Photos courtesy of Idyllwild Arts Academy.

Copyright 2011 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

Published on: May 26, 2011 @ 7:28

Oboe & Vocal Recital with Guest Musician Tonight

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

(from L) Regina (shown with friend Camille) will perform oboe at her senior recital Monday night

By Marcia E. Gawecki

Tonight at 7:30 p.m., two Idyllwild Arts music students will ‘wow’ you at their senior recital. Regina will play oboe, while Helga will sing a selection of jazz and pop songs–with the help of one popular local musician.

For “Both Sides Now,” Helga’s accompanist will be local pianist Barnaby Finch. Since 1982, Barnaby has been a touring member of Lee Ritenour’s band, and has recorded with such notables as George Benson, Lionel Ritchie and Earl Klugh. He also writes his own music and has produced his own albums.

“I was lucky that he was available,” Helga said Sunday, as she headed to meet him for rehearsal. “He was in New York last week.”

Helga, who switched from classical voice to jazz last year, is originally from Sweden. Her mother arrived yesterday for her recital and graduation.

Helga said that she wanted to sing, “Both Sides Now,” but didn’t like the darker tone of Joni Mitchell’s rerelease of that song in 2008. She mentioned this to Paul Carmen, a jazz staff member and saxophone player.

(from L) Paul Carmen working with a drummer last year. He arranged for Helga to work with Barnaby Finch.

“Oh, Barnaby Finch has a better rendition of that song,” Paul told her. “Barnaby even plays in a band that only performs Joni Mitchell songs.”

Paul set up the meeting with Helga and Barnaby, who agreed to perform at her recital tonight.

After their rehearsal, Helga was glowing with excitement.

“Everything went great! He’s such a nice man, and I love his interpretation of ‘Both Sides Now,'” she said. “I can’t wait for everyone to hear it tonight.”

(from R) Barnaby Finch presents award to Whitney last year

Barnaby Finch has always been a big supporter of the Idyllwild Arts Academy. At graduation each year, he gives a scholarship award to one outstanding student. He plays at the “Jazz in the Pines” concert in the fall and occasionally at Cafe Aroma.

“Regina is working hard too,” Helga said of the classical oboe player who will also perform tonight.

Regina and Helga’s senior recital, with guest pianist Barnaby Finch, will be held tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Stephens Recital Hall (at the end of Tollgate Road) on the Idyllwild Arts campus. Like all recitals, it’s free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.idyllwildarts.org or call (951) 659-2171.

Barnaby Finch and Paul Carman photos courtesy Idyllwild Arts Academy.  Copyright 2011 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

Published on: May 23, 2011 @ 10:38