There are many opportunities to hear the School of Music students each year, and whether it involves the Symphony Band or even Michigan Idol, we get a sense of what those mysterious music students do on North Campus. They are undoubtedly successful because of dedication, talent and an often-unseen force that drives them: their teachers.

This savvy group of faculty members is one of the main reasons why the School of Music has maintained its reputation for excellence. Tonight we will have the opportunity to hear from them in the Faculty Showcase Concert at 8 p.m. in the Britton Recital Hall of the E.V. Moore Building.

Not only will the concert be a generous sampling of classical music through the ages, but also an accurate representation of the individual talent of each faculty member and the types of music they enjoy performing. Pieces were chosen by 14 faculty members from composition, musicology, voice and other instrumental departments. This event gives prospective School of Music students a chance to hear from their potential professors, as auditions for the School of Music will be held the day after the concert. Similar events will be held before future auditions throughout the semester.

The repertoire will consist of both solo and duet pieces by composers such as Johannes Brahms and Felix Mendelssohn. Prof. of piano Arthur Greene, opens with Frederik Chopin’s Ballade no. 1 in G Minor, op. 23.

Many of these pieces possess a narrative quality, the tone often reflecting the emotional state of various characters associated with a specific selection. Assistant prof. of voice John Pierce will sing Wagner’s anecdotal Ein Schwert verhiess’ mich der Vater. Lydia Quia will accompany him on piano.

“The aria is a monologue in which the character goes through a range of emotions.” Pierce said in an email. “I find him personally interesting to portray,”

Voice Prof. Carmen Pelton will perform songs by Mendelssohn and Brahms that were inspired by 19th-century poetry.

“My ‘job’ is to tell these stories in song and express each of these very different emotional states to the best of my ability, and invite the audience to join me on the journey,” Pelton said.

Musical themes from George Bizet’s famed opera Carmen, performed by associate prof. of flute Amy Porter and assistant prof. of piano Christopher Harding will close the concert.

Harding describes the selection “Fantasie brillante” as a “virtuosic fantasy” with a lyrical quality. Carmen tells the tragic story of a woman whose beauty deceived and manipulated many men. Although the detailed storyline of this work won’t be illustrated through the piece, Harding and Porter’s selection allows them to communicate its main themes.

“We can take any piece and speak through it when called on to do so,” said Harding. “In this sense we are actors up on stage, but our language is music.”

Many of tonight’s professors-cum-performers are internationally recognized musicians who have come to the University after studying at such prestigious institutions as the University of Southern California to the Julliard School of Music. They have played in uncountable opera houses and orchestras, and have been awarded, among many other accolades, the Cincinnati Symphony National Composers’ Competition, National Young Artist’s Competition and the U of M’s Henry Russel Award. Needless to say, tonight’s concert will be an impressive representation of what they’ve learned and what they love – and exactly what the University has to offer.

Who says those who can’t do, teach?

Faculty Showcase Concert
Tonight at 8 p.m.

At the Britton Recital Hall in the E.V. Moore Building

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