Musicians make memorable melodies

Chamber Music Recital

By Gary Kehoe
Correspondent

Five sharply-dressed musicians entered the stage of Mildred and Ernest E. Mayo Concert Hall on Wednesday night. After a confident bow, a night of splendid performance commenced.

Though recent music department performances have featured soloist ability, the Chamber Music Recital was all about harmony. The night featured an eclectic display of fine small ensemble pieces with impressive numbers from a Brass Quintet, Saxophone Quartet, Wind Octet, Horn Ensemble and Handbell Choir.

Student musicians and vocalists perform what they have been working on all semester long for the College community. (Vicki Wang / Staff Photographer)

The recital opened with an impressively self-conducted brass quintet. Sounding trumpets lead the group through a gradual three-movement build in a piece by Arthur Frackenpohl

The Saxophone Quartet nailed a smooth “Tocatta in F” and later a peppy “Yo!” by Andre Cimiotti, featuring the quick scale-work of senior marketing major Zach Sollitto. A special highlight of the night was the handbell Choir’s serene rendition of “Ave Maria.”

Despite the time, effort, and natural talent on display, the audience was short of what the musicians deserved. “It’s unfortunate,” said Michael Ippolito, junior music major with a saxophone concentration, who offered a performer’s perspective. “Even for big concerts the audience relies on the number of parents who can make it. You find out about upcoming events on the back of a program. There has to be a better way to advertise.”

Ippolito is one of countless music students who commit themselves to great performance regardless of audience. “It would be nice, however,” he added, “if more people could see and hear what we’re doing every day.”

Those who were in attendance certainly appreciated the dedication.

College Chorale

By Ryan Rousseau
Correspondent

An afternoon of musical revelry titled “Swingin’ with the Choirs of TCNJ” was put on by the various vocal groups of the College on Sunday Dec. 4, funded by the department of music.

Starting off the event was TCNJ College Chorale, which performed the songs “Ding-a-Ding,” “They Say It’s Wonderful,” “La Muerte del Ángel,” “Somewhere” and “Blue Skies”.

College Chorale is a course designed for “the musically advanced choral student,” according to the department of music, and is open to all majors pending an audition.

The all-female TCNJ Women’s Ensemble was next and performed timeless classics as “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music, the spiritual “This Little Light of Mine” and “Rock-A-Bye Baby.”

Concluding the afternoon’s festivities came the largest of the groups, TCNJ College Choir. Many of the pieces performed featured student instrumental accompanists, such as freshman music education major, David McNally on bass in both “Route 66” and “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning.”

“I think it went really smoothly considering how many transitions we had to do and the number of soloists,” said sophomore history and secondary education double major Emily Davis, a soprano in the group.

Amid the final thunderous applause, the audience praised the talent of the day’s performers. The lights came back on and as the crowd poured out into the lobby, one couldn’t help but admire the proud and accomplished faces of all the singers as they came out to thank their supporters.

Percussion Ensemble

By Gary Kehoe
Correspondent

Those who came to Mayo Concert Hall last Friday night expecting to see an assortment of Dale Dobacks senselessly beating drum sets to “Boats n’ Hoes” were very disappointed. The TCNJ Percussion Ensemble proved how intricate and enjoyable the composition and execution of a percussion piece could be. Under director William Trigg, the night introduced the unique, contemporary field of percussion ensemble.

The performance began ominously. Musicians sat scattered throughout the audience ringing bells. As the ringing got louder, they began to form a procession onto the stage to stand by their instruments. The piece continued to compile instruments and volume, building to a furious crescendo.

Although the night aimed to show that percussion was more than just “banging on stuff,” Trigg explained that many of the sounds were discovered by simply listening. Pieces ranged from placid and imaginative to brash and aggressive.

The stage was adorned with snare drums, gongs and even car-brake “drums.” One would say the ensemble featured everything but a kitchen sink — at least until sophomore music education major Cory Nickerson began playing wash tubs.

“I always equate a percussion ensemble to a live sculpture,” Trigg said. “The set is always changing. It’s visually as well as audibly stimulating.”

Senior music major Marc Chait received a special introduction before taking center stage to conduct a choice piece.

With Friday night’s Percussion Ensemble, the music department proved mastery of both the contemporary and the classic. In the study and mastery of music performance, there is still a place for that basic instinct to go “Animal.”