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Student concerts

The music department kicked off its series of Thursday night concerts featuring works by returning graduate students.

This informal student-run gathering has drawn increasing crowds over the last year, and has almost outgrown the capacity of the Ensemble Room where they are held.

Perhaps it’s the promise of refreshments or a reprieve from the textbooks; either way, the performing musicians were glad to have a sizeable crowd. The roster seemed daunting. Usually, there are two or three acts on the bill. Last week, there were ten.

This large program displayed not only the diversity of interests among the music department, but also their creativity and range of mediums.

Michael Trigilio presented his latest installment of short video pieces, which started off the evening.

Improvisation and collaboration play a major role in the department, as evidenced by works from Andy Nathan and friends on fretless guitar, double-bass, sampler, and saxophone, True Rosaschi and Sam Ospovat with a piano and drum duet and Jonathan Segel improvising with violin and laptop.

Composed works for acoustic instruments were presented by William Brent, an oboe solo written for and performed exquisitely by his wife Rika. Brett Larner preformed a Koto solo.

Electronic music is a strong force in the music department.

Patrice Scanlon performed an improvised laptop piece.

Andy Nathan and Sam Ospovat joined Tadashi Usami on electric guitar for the loudest piece on the program.

Defying categorization, Wally Scharold played what he called “an opera for solo guitar” which ranged from peaceful humming to distorted guitar power-chords.

This week will feature works by new graduate students and the week following promises works by undergraduate artists.

These gatherings allow students from the composition, electronic music, and performance programs the opportunity to share their work with others, and receive feedback from the audience.