Saint Leo University is using technology this semester to share its annual Fall Faculty Music Recital with the public. The recital was professionally recorded, with social distancing maintained, and uploaded to the Saint Leo University Music YouTube Channel.
The usual tradition is for the music faculty to present a live, free concert at University Campus on a September evening, explained Dr. Chantelle MacPhee, chair of the Department of Language Studies and the Arts. The department provides the music instruction offered at Saint Leo.
The event allows residents of neighboring communities to enjoy the talents of the many professional musicians who teach at the university. It also introduces students, with a potential interest in enrolling in music courses, with the opportunity to hear the work of faculty members they might study with and to be exposed to various styles of music.
By pivoting to create a taped recital, MacPhee explained, Saint Leo is able to meet those goals, and provide some added flexibility for the viewing audience.
People can take in the entire recital, roughly an hour in duration, all at once, view it repeated times, or decide they want to see individual selections.
The 12 featured pieces are selected from a wide range of styles, including Western classical selections, and others.
Dr. Cynthia Selph, assistant professor of music, sings two poems of Emily Dickinson set to music by American composer Aaron Copland. She is accompanied on the piano by Inna Korotkevich. Selph also performs a song by singer-songwriter Sara Bareillies, “What Baking Can Do,” from the recent Broadway musical The Waitress.
Tampa musician and Saint Leo jazz ensemble instructor Mauricio J. Rodriguez contributed an original new work “I Can’t Breathe,” played on double bass. The taped performance incorporates credited video clips from recent protests for racial justice.
Those with an interest in acoustic guitar will want to hear Jonathan Godfrey perform a movement from a contemporary classical work, “Libra Sonatine” by Roland Dyens.
Spanish music and culture is featured through three selections from vocalist and singing instructor Helen Tintes-Schuermann, who is accompanied by Godfrey on acoustic guitar. She performs three folk songs that were collected and arranged by the poet Federico García-Lorca (1898-1936) in a broader compilation called Canciones españolas antiguas (Old Spanish songs). The compilation was not published until 1961.
The lyrics of the songs featured in the recital use simple language, but the events described in each of the songs may suggest that there is more to the story than is being revealed. One is a lullaby about a little baby boy in need of care, and another is about a discussion two brothers have about an upcoming bullfight as they speak in a café where people go for music and entertainment, as well as refreshment. A third is a story that a male narrator tells about meeting a group of three women who mystify him, and their response to his puzzlement.
Violinist Kasia Dolinska and cellist Abigail Collins perform in a classical trio along with pianist Inna Korotkevich. The string musicians also perform in another selection as featured artists, and in works accompanying fellow faculty members. Korotkevich is an accompanist in several selections. The final work in the concert, “Undivided,” poignantly closes with a powerful message that resonates in the lyrics, as much as in the music.
The views expressed during this event are those of the performers and do not necessarily represent the views of the university.