Swirling melodies filled the atrium of D.B. Weldon Library as 16 or so violas (including one played by SASAH student Cassandra Haley) began a journey into an arrangement of “Romance op. 85” by the late nineteenth-century German composer Max Bruch. The audience was awestruck – students and faculty gathered around in comfortable chairs or stood to pause and listen while en-route to class or other appointments.
Amidst the sound of printers and hole punchers, amidst the lingering conversations about essays, reports, and past mid-terms; there arose such a beautiful example of composition and performance that people had to stop and listen. This was an edition of Western Performs, a concert series created and curated by Sharon Wei from the Don Wright Faculty of Music and Joel Falflak and Laurence de Looze from the School for Advanced Studies in the Arts & Humanities.
The arrangement of Bruch consisted of crisp bars of music that ascended and descended upon the ears. This all came to a close with a beautiful tremolo accented bar to keep the listener clinging on for one last breathe of music. A last breathe that was granted through the final strand of soft melody. The second performance included a creative intersection between math and the arts – the interesting ‘Crab Canon’ by J.S. Bach. In order to demonstrate the compositions pattern and structure the musicians held out an enlarged section of the score for the audiences observation.
The Western Performs concert series is an example of collaboration in education and interdisciplinary learning. All SASAH students are invited to attend these afternoon performances where they can discover new music or rediscover great classics – the program also allows the ensemble courses from the faculty of music to gain valuable performance experience. On a large scale, the music series is an initiative by SASAH to bring the arts back into a public sphere that too often ignores the major role of creativity and imagination in the flourishing of humanity. While Tuesday’s concert was the last program of the term, students and faculty will have the opportunity to see many more shows at Weldon in the new year. Stay tuned!