Arts and Culture

A Recap of Wheaton’s Faculty Recital

Wheaton’s faculty of the music department put on a spectacular show in their recital on Sept. 11. Each member of the music department is a performer, and on this night in Weber Theatre, they put their talent on display for students, family and friends to watch. 

The night began with Professor Leslie Amper playing Chopin on piano, enamoring the audience from the very start. Following this was “Feux d’artifice,” composed by Claude Debussy, which was filled with playful notes and full of arpeggios. It was an intimate experience between the pianist and the listeners. 

Next were some slower pieces played by Professor Zarina Irkaeva on the viola. Slow and gentle plucks of the instrument during this performance created a dreamlike atmosphere in the theatre, where the sole focus became the instrument. 

A beautiful historic homage was paid to Professor Joanne Mouradijan’s ancestral link to Armenia. Accompanied on piano by Professor Ann Sears, her operatic vocals were rooted in tradition and emotion as she sang folk songs originating from the people of Armenia. The performance was personal, intense and gave insight into a culture. 

The deepness of the double bass in “Concerto for Double Bass, Moderato and Allegro” gave a haunting sound. Its long, articulated sounds were played by Professor Joseph Bentley, who was accompanied on piano by Professor Alexandra Lutkevich. Their piece was evocative and playful at the same time, with slow sounds of the bass turning, to quick motions from the piano and the plucked strings. 

Taking a break from the classical instruments, Professor Will Mason performed an experimental piece, “for the atlas moth.” This performance was created with a banjo that was extremely out of tune, an audio interface and a keyboard. As Mason performed, it sounded like layers were being built and distorted, with the music becoming more dissonant. The slow-paced piece was interesting and immersive. 

“Bach Reels in His Grave” was played by a string quartet, including Professor Sheila Falls on violin, Irkaeva on cello, Bentley on double bass, and Professor Jeff Cashen on guitar. The melody dominated primarily by violin this fun, fast-paced composition was engaging and exciting, especially as it led to the finale. 

The final pieces were made up of four songs, two composed by Professor George Leonard, who performed as a vocalist, a pianist and a guitarist throughout the duration of the finale. Also performing were fellow faculty members Professor Diamond Centofanti, Professor Daniel Hann and additionally Bentley and Cashen. This lively jazz finale included many improv parts, mixed with overall general happiness among the crowd as the show concluded.