Fall 2008 Recital: Commonalities

Commonalities – Recital in small ensembles

November 22, 2008

In an effort to have my students tune in to their own musical genius, I bade each of them choose a piece of music by a composer with whom they share something in common. It has been fascinating to learn more about the chosen composers as students completed research to find their commonality. It has also been wonderful learning more about these budding musicians that you will hear in the following videos.

Opening 4-part Chorale by J. S. Bach, performed by all students together.

We always begin each recital with a group performance as an ice-breaker of sorts, a chance to confront one’s stage fright in a safe, group atmosphere.

Bourree by Handel, performers Sophie, Dina and Meg

Sophie chose this piece because “I like to challenge myself and I thought this piece would do that.”


Madrigal by Schmitt, performers Justina, Kaeli and Katy

Justina chose this piece because of the connection with her name.

Farewell to the Forest by Mendelssohn, performers Kaeli, Justina, Meg

Kaeli chose this piece because “Mendelssohn was multi-lingual and spoke Spanish and so do I.”


Letter Scene from La Perichole by Offenbach, performers Katy and Meg

Katy explained her connection with Offenbach in a creative way. “Jacques Offenbach is German-born [like me] and he was sort of the Andrew Lloyd Weber of his day. He wrote a lot of modern melodies that are still very popular today. And it turns out that I have more in common with Andrew Lloyd Weber. His father and his brother play the cello [Katy’s sister plays the sax and her father plays an instrument too] and he has a son that was born on the same day as me.”


Soldiers Chorus from Faust by Charles Gounod, performers Davis, Emily and Kate

“The story of Faust interests me greatly,” Davis clarified, “[contemporary composer] Randy Newman has a rendition of the classic opera Faust with which I am very familiar. When recital time came around, I saw that Meg had [a trio for sax from] another rendition of Faust.”


Ruby My Dear by Thelonius Monk, performers Emily and Jon

Emily shared that both she and Monk were born in October, and she likes the song.


Bugs Bop by Bugsy Bower, performers Kate and Meg

Kate traveled a circuitous route to end up choosing this duet by Bugsy Bower. Initial reserach uncovered many commonalities with Percy Grainger but no music to be found for sax in the alloted time. When this duet was suggested, it turned out Kate found lots in common with Dr. Bower.

Intro to three songs by Jon Oace

Meg explains the many commonalities she shares with composer and friend, Jon Oace.

They Came With Their Stories by Jon Oace, performers Meg and Jon

Tone Poem by Jon Oace, performers Meg and Jon

Rollin’ In by Jon Oace, performers Meg and Jon

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