A cold night warmed by chamber music

Junior Cody Smith played Mozart’s “ Sonata for Piano and Violin in F Major” in the chamber music concert. Among the performers were faculty members Carol Stephenson, Steve Biondo and Martin Glicklich. The concert was held in Founders Auditorium on Friday. The musicians played well despite the cold weather. / photo by Reina Santa Cruz
Junior Cody Smith played Mozart’s “ Sonata for Piano and Violin in F Major” in the chamber music concert. Among the performers were faculty members Carol Stephenson, Steve Biondo and Martin Glicklich. The concert was held in Founders Auditorium on Friday. The musicians played well despite the cold weather. / photo by Reina Santa Cruz

Stephanie Duarte
Assistant Editor

Students, friends and family gathered in the ever freezing Founders Auditorium wearing parkas and scarves last Friday. Despite the weather, the students of the Chamber Music class gave an exceptional concert as their final exam.

Timothy Durkovic, professor of music, apologized to the audience prior to the concert, something that musicians rarely do.

“Nothing will sound quite in tune tonight,” Durkovic said. “It’s just too cold. The violin and clarinet can’t go as high or as low in this temperature, so it’s pretty impossible to tune. However, the students worked extremely hard all semester and I hope you will enjoy the fruits of their labor.”

Chamber music was originally composed for a small group of instrumentalists playing in a small room.

On this day, it’s still a small group of instruments, but is usually performed in larger venues.

“It teaches a small ensemble how to collaborate without a conductor,” Durkovic said. “Every part is equal. There are no accompanists, so no part is more important than another.”

The first group was violinist Misa Kitagawa and pianist Eunyoung Sohng. After Kitagawa took about a minute to tune her instrument.

The duo delved in with enthusiasm to the music of Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Sonata for Piano” and “Violin in F Major.”

The instruments seemed to talk to each other through arpeggios that graced the scales.

Their performance was highly expressive and told a story that was left to the audience to interpret. Music warmed the hall, but not physically.

Chris Franco also took a little extra time to warm-up his instrument before performing his piece with pianist Alicia Norris.

He attempted to compensate for Founders’ temperature by huffing warm air into the clarinet until he felt the pitch was close enough to the piano. Another challenge for Franco was his hand.

He fractured a bone in his hand last week after falling down stairs onto a tile floor.

“It was so painful,” Franco said of his performance. “They set it in this cast yesterday, so it was really difficult to play.”

Franco’s hand was purple following the concert, but he was glad he did not have to take an incomplete for the class and complete it the following semester.

Cody Smith and Nicole Sullivan performed Mozart’s “Sonata for Piano and Violin in F Major.”

Both members were highly aware of their partner’s sound. Their ensembleship was both beautiful and intriguing.

“Nicole has a really good stage presence and her dress is so beautiful,” Danielle Cummins, ULV alumna and violinist said. “She has a very graceful Mozart style – very light and bright sounding.”

Smith’s performance was exceptional as well. Between movements he would rub his hands on his lap to create warmth.

“I was shivering,” Smith said. “It was just freezing – even with a tux on. But I felt really comfortable with the music; I knew what I was trying to get across.”

All the performers did a fine job of communicating the mood and message of each piece.

The final group to perform was the Chamber Choir made of six fine soloists who performed a difficult piece by Jean Berger, “Magnificat.” Performing with the choir were guest faculty members Carol Stephenson, soprano and voice professor, Martin Glicklich, flautist and flute professor, and Steve Biondo, percussionist and music department coordinator.

The group was quite large for a chamber music piece, but they succeeded in staying together and making wonderful music.

“I think it was the best we’ve ever performed it,” said Steven Andrews, junior music and computer science major. “It’s very satisfying knowing that we were able to pull it off. It was a difficult piece.”

With only the fluorescent stage lights for warmth, the ULV Chamber Music group performed a wonderful concert of classical music.

“Everyone worked really hard this semester,” Smith said. “I thought everyone did really well.”

Stephanie Duarte can be reached at duartes@ulv.edu.

Journalism operations manager at the University of La Verne. Production manager and business manager of the Campus Times.

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