Staff, students perform for funds

Brooks Hafey, music accompanist, and Bobby Pace, music adjunct faculty, play “They All Sang Yankee Doodle” Tuesday during the MTNA Benefit Concert in Memorial Hall. —Photo by Teri Robinson

Brooks Hafey, music accompanist, and Bobby Pace, music adjunct faculty, play “They All Sang Yankee Doodle” Tuesday during the MTNA Benefit Concert in Memorial Hall. —Photo by Teri Robinson

There was a celebratory tone at the Music Teachers National Association Benefit Concert on Tuesday. Bill Mullins acted as host for the hour-long performance, which featured three students and four professors. The concert raised money for four music students to attend the fourth annual MTNA Collegiate Piano Pedagogy Symposium in Dallas. Talia Enevoldsen, Jayne Barrow, Megan Anderson, and Emily Helsel created a poster-presentation about the dangers of long-term hearing-loss for music educators and performers. The four will present their findings, along with awareness and prevention methods, at the symposium.

Enevoldsen, Barrow and, Anderson performed at the beginning of the concert, Enevoldsen presenting a melodic Debussy piece involving hand-switching and overlapping scales, while Barrow lightened the mood with an upbeat ragtime piece. CSC’s educators joined the music  when Anderson played flute alongside Brooks Hafey, on piano. Her contribution turned from an earnest, pastoral melody to a passionate and dramatic piece, which had the audience nodding with approval.

Mullins, a music instructor, got the idea to hold the benefit concert from fellow MTNA colleagues who held the same kind of event to support their own student’s attendance. This MTNA symposium is held exclusively for college students, so they might experience presenting and networking before the national conference.

“It’s an experience of a life time,” Mullins said. “twenty-one colleges attend, and this is where I’ve met most of my colleagues. You’re with your peers, and it’s, as educators like to say, high-impact learning.”

Following the students, Mullins performed two pieces, the latter of which he described as an Italian gondolier’s song. This dark, contemplative melody completed the first portion of the concert, and afterwards Hafey and Bobby Pace took the stage. The pair performed “They All Sang Yankee Doodle,” a piece by Dave Brubeck which requires a pair of piano players to reinvent common tunes. For such a cheerfully-titled song, the duo pianos created a thunderous, grandiose sound that played off children’s melodies. The pair turned familiar diddles into a piano-pounding mini-concert.

Following this, another impressive piano partnership wowed the audience. Hafey and Pace manned one piano, while Mullins and James Margetts, interim dean of liberal arts, sat at the other. They introduced the piece as “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” a popular Sousa piece with a complicated twist. All four pianists played the piece, together, on two pianos. The educators got the idea from the Brigham Young Piano Quartet, which has “brought back four-person piano compositions,” according to Mullins. The performance earned CSC’s quartet a standing ovation. This song, celebrating a country’s independence, seemed like a fitting finale to a concert celebrating four student’s passion for music.

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