Recital showcases student musicianship

Student musicians perform a number of classical pieces at this week’s Wednesday Recital. Whitman performs ‘Michi’ on the marimba, a percussive, xylophone-like instrument.
Student musicians perform a number of classical pieces at this week’s Wednesday Recital. Whitman performs ‘Michi’ on the marimba, a percussive, xylophone-like instrument.

The College’s very talented student musicians performed on stage at the Ernest and Mildred E. Mayo Concert Hall. From classical to jazz to new age and beyond, the recital was as much about the collection of compositions as it was about showcasing the performers.

The first musician of the afternoon was Kevin Whitman, a junior music education major. Whitman played Keiko Abe’s four mallet “Michi” on the marimba, a percussion instrument consisting of wooden bars with resonators resembling a large xylophone. The piece Whitman performed was upbeat and dramatic, yet dreamy and trance-like. Using four mallets, two per hand, the piece begins quickly with fast, repetitive beats on the instrument that fill the auditorium with a sense of urgency. He explained how he began playing the marimba, “I started percussion in eighth grade, then a friend of mine told me that marimba is similar to the piano, and then by the time I got to high school I had really gotten into percussion, especially marimba.” Whitman’s performance featured not only his mastery of such an unusual instrument, but also the skill with which such a composition can be played.

Mozart’s “Sonata in C Major KV 330 Allegretto” followed Whitman’s “Michi.” A lovely contrast to the dramatic nature of the previous composition, this piano piece proved to be light and exciting. With its dotted-eighth rhythmic motif, “Allegretto” is a playful, joyous movement ending one of Mozart’s most popular piano sonatas.

Alto saxophone, clarinet and trumpet performances followed the Mozart sonata, then next on stage was Evan Wallach on the guitar playing Mauro Giulani’s “Sonatina, op. 71 No. 3 Andantino Sostenuto” and “Tempo di Marcia – Trio.” With nothing but guitar in hand, Wallach played allowing the intrinsic sound of the guitar to radiate throughout the concert hall. This particular performance really stood out because of the guitar’s entirely different sound and also because of the mellow and relaxed nature of each piece, offering a beautiful transition from some of the more upbeat pieces played in the beginning of the recital. “Tempo di Marcia – Trio” was particularly captivating because of the piece’s playful movement from low to high and a motif heard throughout the piece that showed the musician’s talent in handling the instrument because of its quick pace and complexity.

The final performance of the afternoon was of Gliere’s “Intermezzo, op. 35 No. 11.” Played on the horn, this piece ended the recital gracefully with its lingering notes and piano accompaniment.