There have been times in my four years here at Eastern when I’ve wondered how lucky we are to have such talented and knowledgeable professors – and that thought appeared in my head once more at this year’s annual Amadeus Concert held by Eastern’s music department faculty on Feb. 11.
One of two choral performances opened the night, and quite an opening it was. “Two Psalms,” written by sophomore Justin Tokke, was sung for the first time in a performance by Dr. Ron Matthews, chair of the music department, and accompanied by David Bryant, associate chair of the department.
The next performance was two solo piano pieces with Jim Correnti at the ivory keys. He started his two-piece performance with the second of Chopin’s four Scherzos, a dramatic and enchanting piece that defies its stereotype. Correnti then dedicated his medley of 1930s love songs to “his Valentine and all of the Valentines out there (in the audience).”
Bryan Edgett wrapped up the first half with “Excursions,” an incredibly difficult trumpet solo that Edgett made look easy. With accompaniment by Dr. Matthews, “Excursions” reminded me of a cross between Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and “Flight of the Bumblebee,” ending the first act with a jazzy sound.
Like the first half, the second half began with a choral performance, this time by Teresa Moyer and Correnti on piano. The pieces, “Two English Art Songs,” were adapted from the writings of Victorian poet Christina Rosetti. Moyer’s voice floated passionately through the auditorium, actively engaging the audience.
After Moyer, Leah Kim came onto the stage with her violin tucked under her arm, Matthews right behind her to accompany. From the moment bow touched string, Kim had the audience entranced with her powerful and dramatic performance of “Praeludium and Allegro,” her fingers dancing across the violin at lightspeed.
The last performance of the night was a xylophone-piano duet by Bill Kerrigan and Bryant. “Log Cabin Blues” was fun to listen to, evoking past memories of playing with Legos – or Lincoln Logs, as it were. The light and happy song was a perfect way to end the night.
While the approximately seventy-member audience may have mainly consisted of music majors, everyone reacted positively to the performances. “The Eastern music faculty are ridiculously talented yet humble and inspiring,” junior Jamie Wikso said.
“I am truly blessed to be trained by such wonderful musicians,” first-year Kelsey Meyers said. “I hope to someday accomplish a portion of what they’ve done.”