This semester sees the continuation of the music department’s Mid-Day Concert series, and with the first concert yesterday, the department showed that this semester’s lineup should be a good one.
According to Timothy Perry, professor of music and director of graduate studies for the music department, the department has been hosting a weekly concert during lunchtime for over 30 years. This semester, the concerts will be held on Thursdays at 1:20 p.m. in various performance halls in the Anderson Center.
The department aims to have about 10 concerts each semester and to feature both student and faculty performers.
“Some students perform as part of a fulfill[ment] for their major (or minor in music), some perform to practice a piece before a recital,” Marnie Wrighter, the music department’s concert manager, wrote in an email, “some faculty also might perform if they have another function coming up and want to use the time as like a dress rehearsal and promote their concert.”
Many of the concerts have specific themes, including one concert featuring only vocal students, and one featuring Nukporfe, the African drumming and dance ensemble at Binghamton University. Additionally, at the end of the semester, as per tradition, there will be a student recognition concert with performers nominated by members of the department.
At yesterday’s midday concert, all the performances included a combination of piano and one other instrument. Whether it was the viola, the trombone, the clarinet or the flute, the music was immersive and served as an effective break from the business of a normal school day.
From the first performer to the last, it was clear how passionate the students and faculty were about the music they performed, even if it was not a sold-out show.
The viola/piano piece seemed as if it were pulled right out of a dinner banquet in the 1800s. The trombone/piano performance seemed as if it belonged to a noir film.
The final piece was composed entirely by Christian Martin, who graduated from Binghamton University with a bachelor’s in music in 2015. It was performed by a trio of faculty: Timothy Perry on clarinet, Stephen Stalker on violoncello and Margaret Reitz on piano.
John Petersen, a sophomore majoring in mathematics, played the clarinet in his first performance as a soloist.
“I was nervous, but it was a good kind of nervous,” Petersen said.
The opportunity to perform in front of a supportive audience was a comfort to him, however, as his favorite part was seeing the people in the audience.
The Mid-Day Concert series is a nice break from the week and a great way to spend an hour of your time. Thursdays can feel like the longest day of the week, but they go a little bit faster if you spend some of it listening to some incredible music performed and written by BU students and professors.