The CSU-Pueblo Music Department kicked off the semester with the first fall concert, the Annual Friends of Music Donors Circle Concert, on Sept. 26 in Hoag Recital Hall.
The second concert gives the campus community an opportunity to see everything the department has to offer, said Tamra Axworthy, administrative assistant to the music department.
“The good thing about this (concert) is that it brings in something from every area,” Axworthy said. “It’s a chance for the community to come and get a broader perspective on what the music department has to offer versus coming to just one of the specialty concerts.”
The concert featured five student performers, the CSU-Pueblo Chamber Choir and five faculty performers, all of whom entertained an audience of approximately 70 people.
After everyone took their seats, the stage curtains opened to reveal a massive organ played by Zahari Metchkov, the new piano instructor for the department.
Along with Metchkov, Al Eberhardt, an Artist in Residence and trumpet instructor for the department, and Matthew Mauro, a senior majoring in music, played a trumpet duet to “Trumpet Voluntary in D Major,” composed by Henry Purcell and arranged by E. Power Biggs. Trey Harrington, a freshman majoring in music education, provided background timpani.
Following the faculty and student mash-up performance, the CSU-Pueblo Chamber Choir took the stage and performed two songs: “Cantemus” by Bárdos Lajos and “I am Not Yours” by Randall Stroope.
Dana Ihm, director of choral activities, said she was pleased with the performance of the group.
“I think the chamber choir did a very fine job. Their performance was very well done,” Ihm said. “For it being this early in the semester, they were quite well prepared for this concert.”
This year, following a large influx of freshmen voice majors, many underclassmen joined the chamber choir, Ihm said. The choir consists of 37 students, she said, about half of whom are freshmen without much experience working collectively.
“That’s really why it was so surprising that they were able to work together as an ensemble so quickly and be able to sing so well within five weeks of the semester,” Ihm said.
Diane Eickelman, a staff accompanist and pianist, accompanied Lydia Demi-Smith, a senior majoring in music, who played the violin for the performance of Mozart’s “Violin Concerto No. 5.”
Eickleman stayed on piano for “Romance #1” by Robert Schumann, to join student performer Elisa Noble, an oboist and senior majoring in music education.
Following “Romance #1,” Metchkov took over piano duties for the performance of folk songs by Paul Basler. Mathew Evans, artist faculty member and horn instructor, accompanied Metchkov for “Alegria,” “Hills of Arirang” and “Shenandoah.”
After the performance, the final student performer, Zachary Friberg, a vocalist and senior majoring in music performance, took the stage with Eickelman to perform “Brother, My Brother” by Frank Wildhorn and “Love Who You Love” by Stephen Flaherty.
The event concluded with Greg Creager, artist faculty member and piano instructor, on piano performing “Dill Pickles Rag” by Charles Johnson.
Overall, Ihm said she felt the student and faculty performances were a success.
“I think they all did a very fine job. They all represented themselves, the school and the music department very well,” Ihm said. “All in all, I think it was a great afternoon.”
The department held a reception following the event to commemorate the donors who gave money to the department last year, as well as those looking to donate this year.
The concert serves in conjunction with the Friends of CSU-Pueblo Department of Music – Annual Giving Circle fundraising campaign, and allows the department to give back to those who have donated, said Jennifer Shadle-Peters, associate professor and department chair for the music department.
“It was meant to be, and it did serve this purpose, a special offering for the donors who have supported the music department in our annual circle of giving,” Shadle-Peters said.
The campaign, started in 2009, aims to raise money for the department’s Caroline Cramer-Voss Music Scholarship Fund and for the remodeling of Room 205 in the Art and Music Building.
Money donated for remodeling Room 205 will be used to turn the room into a secondary performance area, Axworthy said, allowing it to function as a small recital hall, in addition to its use as a classroom.
Ihm, who uses the room regularly for choir rehearsals, said the room is starting to transform into the anticipated recital hall.
“It looks a lot better. I’m in there every single day,” Ihm said. “It’s going to be a nice feature to have a smaller recital hall, especially for some of the vocal recitals or guitar recitals.”
Approximately $600 of donations have been collected so far, Axworthy said, and that amount more than covered the cost of the reception. However, many of the donations will be mailed directly to the CSU-Pueblo Foundation Office so the department won’t know the total amount of contributions until next week, Axworthy said.
Everyone who donates to the Friends of CSU-Pueblo Department of Music – Annual Giving Circle receives recognition in all of the department’s programs and publications for the calendar school year.
The music department’s next big performance is the Broadway Showcase at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 12, in Hoag Recital Hall. The event showcases the department’s vocal students, Axworthy said, and gives them the opportunity to perform in front of an audience.
Those who want more information about the Annual Friends of Music Donors Circle Concert or upcoming concerts may contact Axworthy at 719-549-2552.