18th Century melodies fill Garrison Theater

Members of the Joint Music Program of Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Pitzer and Scripps Colleges, led by Charles Kamm, perform Sunday in Scripps College's Garrison Theater. The ensemble performed a wide array of European music written prior to 1700. / photo by Olivia Modarelli
Members of the Joint Music Program of Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Pitzer and Scripps Colleges, led by Charles Kamm, perform Sunday in Scripps College’s Garrison Theater. The ensemble performed a wide array of European music written prior to 1700. / photo by Olivia Modarelli

Thatiana Gibbs
Staff Writer

The Early Music Ensemble concert at Scripps College Sunday honored music history with a choral concert featuring music from before 1700. The concert was held in the Garrison Theater on the Scripps College campus.

The concert featured Bill Alves, composer and professor of humanities at Harvey Mudd and the colleges’ early music ensemble director; and Charles Kamm, director of the Claremont Concert Choir and the Claremont Treble Singers.

Musicians included Jonathan Johnson on harpsichord performer and Lynn Burrows on cello, along with about 50 members of the music ensemble, who performed before an audience of about 100.  

The ensemble also featured a variety of woodwind instruments.

The theme of the concert included different forms of religious enlightenment. With pieces that have their origins in the European Middle Ages, Renaissance and early Baroque era, each song exemplified the musical experimentation and development of the time.

“I think there is strength in numbers, I know that the people around me are super talented, I know that they have my back and I will always have theirs,” Taylor Levinson, junior computer science major and performer, said. “It’s so nice to be able to perform with people that you love and respect and it was a really great experience.”

“This period represents when people are forming different views about religion, how it interacts with the person and with the community at large,” Aidan Trulove, senior English major at Scripps College, said. “Also, art for the sake of art in a way, how can you make something beautiful. I’m looking forward to the variety of instruments as well as the incredible skill of the singers.”

A number of pieces of secular vocal polyphony were performed. This refers to a style of music that emerged during the Renaissance period, and involves multiple vocalists singing different melodies simultaneously.  

“I felt like we were in a different time and place, it’s always really fascinating to think about how this is really really old music,” Olivia Kazanjian, designer and guest at the concert, said. “So seeing how it’s influenced today’s music is really interesting. It was everything I expected. Seeing students flourish on stage and learn about music and being inspired by that, it’s always really good to see students who are curious about what they are performing, and I felt like that was present on today’s stage.”

Each composition harbored its own unique flare. Some pieces evoked sincere and breathy melodies, while others resembled aspects of the living world such as bird sounds. 

“The ones distinctly from the Renaissance were my favorite songs,” Douglas Ricketson, salesman and guest at the concert, said. “But the last one, and the conductor, was the most rousing. I think what they’re doing is really wonderful because it really connects with the community.”

The Joint Music Program of Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Pitzer and Scripps Colleges host an array of concerts and events that are free and open to the public. Upcoming events will be available for attendance in late April, and can be viewed on their website at scrippscollege.edu

Thatiana Gibbs can be reached at thatiana.gibbs@laverne.edu.

Thatiana Gibbs is a junior journalism major with a concentration in print-online journalism and a staff writer for the Campus Times. Her enthusiasm lies in research, writing, and effectively delivering captivating information to the public eye.

Olivia Modarelli, a senior journalism major with a concentration in print-online journalism, is a staff photographer for the Campus Times. She previously served as a staff writer and copy editor.

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