Department of music finishes Bernstein Centennial celebration with brass recital
TNE Editor
/ Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Music

Department of music finishes Bernstein Centennial celebration with brass recital

Published 11/29/18

Colby Luper

TNE Writer

The department of music is capping off its year-long celebration of Leonard Bernstein with a recital including brass players and chamber groups paying tribute to Bernstein’s work. 2018 marks 100 years since Bernstein’s birth. This Bernstein Centennial is the reason for the department of music’s Bernstein-focused events throughout the year.

The first event of the year was a wind ensemble in March. This brass recital is serving as the finale of the celebration. Bernstein’s work is popular and has influenced the world of music. This event features various solo and chamber works written for brass by Bernstein, all performed by students and faculty.

“I am coordinating this event along with professor Ben Hay,” said Dr. James Adams, bands/low brass director. “I will be speaking a bit to introduce the concert, but then students will be leading their own performances. Certain pieces will highlight certain performers, and ensemble pieces will demonstrate our students’ ability to perform as a tight, cohesive unit.”

The Bernstein Centennial events are a collaboration between the department of music and the library. Historical information about Bernstein and his work is provided during these events while audience members hear Bernstein’s work in person, performed by our very own students and faculty. The pieces to be performed have been carefully selected to display the many different facets of Bernstein’s music. Elements of classical, jazz and American popular music are presented in the performances at this recital.

“These pieces are often humorous,” said Ben Hay, music instructor. “It seems Bernstein found brass to be a particularly lighthearted vessel for his wit. In fact, several of these pieces we will be performing were originally written in honor of his friends’ pet dogs.”

The pieces selected for this event are rarely played together as a collection. When compared to the other campus events for the Bernstein Centennial, this event stands out as an opportunity for listeners to experience the talent of NSU’s brass musicians. These musicians usually perform as a part of the jazz ensemble, jazz combo and marching band. This event focuses solely on instruments normally heard in the context of a larger group of many different instruments.

“Our students are extremely versatile performers,” said Hay. “I am proud of their hard work in becoming proficient in so many musical situations. I think Bernstein’s music provides an excellent platform for them. Working with our students in such a direct way, not just as students but as future colleagues, is very rewarding.”

The students performing have been working to create the best experience possible. Rehearsals focus on working out melodies and harmonies and supporting them with a low, bass end. Brass includes instruments such as trombones and tubas, so a wide variety of sounds are available to play with. Through these rehearsals, students have bonded and learned how to play together in order to support each other and make the whole performance sound as professional as possible.

“This concert is a great chance to show people what music students are capable of,” said Brady Hacker, senior trombone player. “Some of us performing in this event have been playing together for as long as two years now, so each of us is aware of how the others play. That helped a lot while putting this concert together.”

This brass recital is from 7-8:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 6 at the Center for the Performing Arts.


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