The Shaw Center’s regal Carol Hall thrived with life last Friday as local residents, professors and students alike flocked to hear the debut performances of Graceland’s new music faculty. Graceland has held faculty recitals in the past, but Friday night’s event was the first time that such a large group of the music department showcased their talents together.
Faculty recitals display the professors’ adept music skills and provide an example of a professional musical performance to music students, and Friday’s demonstration was no exception.
This fall’s recital presented Dr. Erin Bodnar, Professor Sara Blessing and Dustin Williams’ talents as musicians, and they filled the concert hall with beautiful music. Professor Jack Ergo and Dr. Adam Groh also performed a piece, with Dr. Groh on the vibes and crotales (also known as the antique symbols) and Mr. Ergo as the accompanying pianist. The two veterans of Graceland’s music department began the night with the trance-like piece “Red Arc/Blue Veil” by John Luther Williams.
Dr. Erin Bodnar played “Sonata in F Major,” a charming bassoon sonata written by composer William Hurstone, which was amplified by Carol Hall’s acoustic design. Professor Blessing left the audience captivated by her vocal prowess with her performance of “Song to the Moon,” a lyrical piece from Rusalka, a Czech fairytale that was written into an opera. Mr. Williams exhibited his talent for the trumpet with “Portrait of a Trumpet,” an enchanting song by Sammy Nestico, with his wife accompanying on piano, and ended the night with a solo instrumental version of “Someone to Watch Over Me,” the jazzy ballad by George Gerswhin.
With such a great turnout and fabulous reviews of the showcased faculty, the department is enthusiastic about holding a similar recital in the future.