Stacey Brett Davern, soprano and Chatham University Music Faculty, and Dr. Bradley Fitch, organist/pianist at Grove City College and Christ United Methodist Church, performed a vocal-organ duo recital for our February Friday Afternoon Musicale. Featuring favorites of song and the organ, their program was just what we needed for a late-winter uplifting. We promise it will inspire you!
For our January Friday Afternoon Musicale, music faculty members Kelly Lynch, soprano, and Walter Morales, piano, performed a recital that reflected on themes of isolation, sadness, loss, and hope of reconciliation in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the new year. They performed works by Beethoven, Donaudy, Tosti, Rachmaninoff, and Weill.
In celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, pianist, conductor, and vocal coach, Walter Morales, performed the 24 Variations on “Venni Amore,” WoO 65, Beethoven’s first major set of variations for solo piano. His program also included the Variations in C minor, WoO 80. Morales has written that the work “requires considerable virtuosity, with each variation presenting a different technical challenge so that it almost seems like a set of etudes. However, it is the sometimes violent emotional content that dominates.” Like much of Beethoven’s life, so have our lives been affected by many emotional experiences within the past year—the emotional ubiquity of the composer’s music is precisely the quality which makes it just as relevant as if it had been composed yesterday, despite it being 250 years since his birth!
Watch the December Friday Afternoon Musicale at the following link: Beethoven: Innovations and Variations.
On Friday, November 20, the music program hosted its second virtual concert of the 2020-2021 school year. Zoe Sorrell, a member of our Chatham music faculty, has been deemed a “profoundly gifted and innovative flutist” by Pittsburgh in the Round. She is a flute soloist, educator, chamber collaborator, and entrepreneur. She performed solo flute works by the following American composers: Katherine Hoover, Leanna Keith, Margarita Zelenaia, Valeria Coleman, Ruth Crawford Seeger, and Adolphus Hailstork. Her program explored themes of American identity and belonging in light of election day while celebrating the best of American flute music.
Watch Zoe’s performance by clicking on the following link: American Awakening.
To learn more about Zoe, visit zoesorrell.com.
Friday, October 16, 2020 marked this semester’s first Friday Afternoon Musicale and the Chatham University Music Program’s first virtual concert, as well as the first virtual concert on the ChathamU Music Program YouTube channel. This series of firsts was a success with pianist James Iman’s intense, contemplative program and enthusiastic online presence during the premiere.
The program featured piano works by female composers including Elisabeth Lutyens, Jeanne Strieder, Soe Tjen Marching, and Annea Lockwood. In fact, Jeanne Strieder was present during the premiere to answer questions as her piece was performed.
If you missed the premiere, you can still watch the full concert on our YouTube channel at this link: https://youtu.be/NtEin3qRNrc.
We’re so grateful we could continue our Friday Afternoon Musicale series this semester and hope you will join us for our next virtual event, American Awakening, with our flute instructor Zoe Sorrell.
Happy birthday, Amadeus! Thank you to all who attended our Music for Food concert last night in honor of Mozart’s 264th birthday. We raised over $900 for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank to help the hungry in the Pittsburgh area. Mozart certainly would have felt the same warmth we felt while listening to his music by knowing that it benefitted such a humanitarian cause as this–and indeed, it brought warmth to the cold January night. We especially thank our performers for their work, as this concert would have been impossible without them!
The Chatham University Music Program concert series began its Spring semester with the continuation of Walter Morales’s Complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas series. Part XI was a pianistic success, as was proven by the overflowing Founders’ Room and all-around enthusiasm for Beethoven. Morales’s display of personally collected Beethoven scholarship (spanning about six music stands) showed his passion and expertise for the composer and his music, all of which clearly informed Morales’s interpretation and gave life to the attentive precision with which he played. There wasn’t a better way to begin the decade of the ’20s!
This Sunday, we celebrated Thanksgiving a little early with Aria412’s delicious performance of songs on themes of food, drink, and revelry from opera, musical theatre, and cinema. The entire program was permeated with personality, humor, sugar, and spice. These songs certainly must’ve had their fair share of time in the oven, as they came out fresh, crisp, and fully cooked without being overdone. Serving us appetizers, main dishes, and dessert, Kelly Lynch, Desirée Soteres, Kathy Soroka, Kevin Adamik, William Andrews, Zoé Soteres, and Matt Gillespie are truly musical chefs who displayed their mastery of singing (and playing, in Gillespie’s case) tunes both savory and sweet!
We give special thanks to the talented and award-winning Akina Kondoh for her performance this Friday as she shared with us the last piano compositions of Bach, Chopin, Debussy, Scriabin, and Schubert. The highlight of the recital was Kondoh’s masterful rendition of Scriabin’s “Vers la flamme.” In the moments before she played, Kondoh spoke of her desire to convey the obsession with mysticism and ecstasy that Scriabin had especially near the end of his life; with hair-raising intensity, Kondoh transported us into an ecstatic realm and towards the flame that so enticed Scriabin.
Last Saturday, Roy Sonne, Yeeha Chiu, and Kathy Melucci performed a beautiful program in memoriam of last year’s Tree of Life victims. Heartfelt expression and exquisite musicianship insinuated their way into the hearts of the audience, and, soothing like a balm, demonstrated to all the healing power of music.