Audience applauds compositions by student, faculty musicians

An array of talent erupted from the Doty Recital Hall at the New Music Concert, directed by visiting assistant professor of music Michael Masci on April 4. The concert was comprised of vocal and instrumental compositions performed and written by Geneseo faculty and students. The concert celebrated the new music that students and professors had been working on either all year or all semester.

Pianist and adjunct lecturer of music Beata Golec performed her own composition titled “Falling.” The piece opened dramatically slow and progressed into an intriguing and eerie melody. Golec’s notes seemed to mimic the title of her piece, as they seemed to be “falling” one after another. The dissonant and dark piece progressed on the scale from high, soft notes into low notes, growing louder and louder.

Another contrasting piano piece was “Reverie, for Jessie,” composed and played by senior Russel Anthony. The melody elicited emotions of a sweet and happy memory. Anthony’s piece established that connection with the audience since a reverie is the feeling of being pleasantly lost in one’s daydreams.

Toward the end of the night, professor of music and Chair of the Music Department Jonathan Gonder accompanied professional mezzo-soprano Jessica Ann Best with “‘In all this heaving sea of land’: Five Songs on the texts of Edna St. Vincent Millay” composed by Masci. The shift was a nice transition from previous string performances.

The piece consisted of five texts, ranging from uplifting to somber moods. The first song, “Never May the Fruit be Plucked” was more expressive. Best captivated the audience with her vocal variety, emotional facial expressions and playful exaggeration of words, while Gonder just as passionately reinforced the composition’s poignancy on piano.

The concert was an opportunity for students, family and friends to support and witness the hard work and talent of their peers and colleagues. Many of the pieces in the concert were composed by students and performed by musicians who are professors themselves. It was satisfying to see the camaraderie among students and faculty who had worked together to compose music and then orchestrate it.

The concept of the concert proved to be both important and valuable, educating the audience on what new music is, especially to the students.

“It’s extremely important for young artists and composers to have the ability to present their work. Something like this should be cultivated and presented in the future,” Golec said. “What’s the point of composing if there’s no one to listen to your work?”