Students in Wayne State’s chamber music course will take part in a recital on April 24 at Old Main to showcase music pieces they've been learning during the winter semester.
Chamber music is defined as instrumental, classical music played by a small ensemble, with one player to a part. It originated in the 18th century. Some notable chamber musicians were Mozart, Joseph Haydn and Franz Schubert, according to Britannica.com.
“All of the compositions we’ll be playing are original—Vivaldi, Beethoven, Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Vaughan Williams, and several lesser known musicians that we’ve studied,” said Vanessa Kwiatkowski, music major and pianist in the chamber music course.
Professor and Director of Music Judith Vander Weg said that the performance is mandatory for students, and that it benefits them by giving them experience they’ll use later in life.
“Most of them will be performers at least part of the time in their careers, so they need the experience,” Vander Weg said.
She also said that chamber music isn’t just a music class, it’s a team sport.
“In this course, students gain experience in musical decision making which is grounded in music history and performance practice,” Vander Weg said. “They refine interpersonal skills such as listening to and giving and receiving feedback from peers. They understand that every member of the group shares leadership responsibilities. Last, but not least, they engage the audience in the unique experience of live chamber music.”
Vander Weg said the concert will consist of 18 to 20 performers in a variety of groups assigned to certain pieces of music.
Groups range in size from two to a five, all playing classical music, though several pieces are from this century. To prepare for the concert, each group had a weekly rehearsal alternating with a coaching session with a faculty member.
“They’re all very invested,” said Vander Weg. “Most students who follow music performance to the college level began their interest in instruments in elementary school.”
Sophomore and violin performance major Chance McDermott said that he thoroughly enjoys playing chamber music and has liked classical music since high school.
“Chamber music is always a treat to play for me, mainly because of the intimacy involved,” McDermott said. “It offers more than solo playing, as it involves other people, but it's not too many players like an orchestra. It's just the right amount of people, and it is fun to play great music especially with great friends.”
He also said that his enjoyment of chamber music only gets stronger with time and practice.
“This will be my third semester taking chamber music at Wayne State,” McDermott said. “I plan on contributing next year, and I hope to be able to play some more fantastic music with friends.”
McDermott will be playing an original composition by Rachmaninoff at the recital, the third movement of Rachmaninoff's “Piano Trio élégiaque."
“I am very much looking forward to the recital,” McDermott said. “We have been working on our piece all semester and I can't wait for people to hear it.”
The concert will be held in the Schaver Music Recital Hall in Old Main. For updates and information, follow the Music Department on Facebook.