Concert series concludes with solo and duet performances

Pianists performed the two final concerts of the Debussy Project, this past weekend in the Memorial Hall Auditorium, in celebration of the centennial of Claude Debussy’s death.

Brooks Hafey, assistant professor of music, performed the solo piano work of Debussy in a fifth and final solo concert, Friday.

Bobby Pace, CSC accompanist, and guest artist Nicole L. Johnson of Deltona, Florida performed Debussy’s works written for four-hands, Saturday.

Both concerts were part of a seven-concert project celebrating the life and work of Claude Debussy. Debussy was a prominent musician during the late 19th and early 20th century and is considered one of the most important composers of the Impressionist era.

Many of the pieces Hafey has performed throughout the Debussy Project weren’t new to him, he said much of the music he has been playing since he was a young boy.

His years of experience showed in his performance as his hands skillfully moved across the ivory keys creating sounds bursting with musical artistry.

Friday night’s program closed with Debussy’s Etudes which are among the most pianistically and musically challenging the composer wrote.

Hafey said of the Etudes, Chords, the final piece, was the most challenging because it was at the end of a long program and requires a lot of energy because of the strenuous physical requirement of the piece. 

In Saturday’s performance, Pace and Johnson worked together in harmony, sharing a wordless communication to create a balanced and united sound.

Pace and Johnson met about 11 years ago while studying music at Stetson University and have been good friends ever since.

Johnson currently maintains a teaching studio in Deltona and is an Adjunct Professor of Music at Stetson University.

The pair had performed piano duets together while in college, including Debussy’s Petite Suit, which they performed Saturday.

Preparing for a duo concert can be challenging when your duet partner lives on the other side of the country, but Pace said working on the duets involved lots of independent practice.

The duo only had a few days to practice the duets together before their concert Saturday, but the two pianists showed their talent by creating unified sound and music.    

This weekend, the music department will perform two concerts.

Wind Symphony & Community Band will be performing tomorrow, at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Hall Auditorium, and Concert Choir and Community Chorus will be performing Sunday, at 3 p.m. in the Chadron Arts Center.   

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