FMU students, faculty perform classical music

FMU students and faculty performed classical music in the annual string ensemble in the Black Box Theatre at the Performing Arts Center (PAC).

Two FMU students and four faculty members participated in this performance of chamber music on Nov. 23. This type of music is classical music designed for a small set of musicians.

Terry A. Roberts, coordinator of music for the FMU Fine Arts Department and director of this ensemble, chose music for the event that was exclusively from the Baroque period of classical music, which ranges from the 17th century to the mid-18th century. He chose only music from British composers for the fall 2015 string ensemble.

Roberts said he chose this music because he found that the students who were participating in the ensemble related well to it. He said he likes for the students to be able to agree with the music in some way, and he likes to have some sort of theme for each ensemble.

“I don’t always achieve [a theme], but that’s the goal- cohesion,” Roberts said.

In the beginning of the string ensemble, Roberts gave an introduction on the theme of the concert and upcoming events. He said he presented the audience with information about the event because most people today do not have much background in classical music. He announced upcoming events at the PAC, including The Nebraska Theatre Caravan’s performance of “A Christmas Carol” and an upcoming Florence Symphony Orchestra performance.

The group first performed a piece by Henry Purcell. English conductor and composer Albert Coates arranged this portion of the concert. Purcell’s music is from the early Baroque period. Roberts said that Purcell wrote a lot of music to accompany theatrical performances.

The group then played music composed by William Boyce. Roberts introduced this section with a background on Boyce. Roberts informed the audience that Boyce was the “Master Musician of His Royal Majesty,” despite his going deaf in his thirties. Boyce also wrote church music, and Roberts said many Anglican churches still sing his hymns. The string ensemble performed a compilation of theatrical music by Boyce.

The ensemble then played another section of Purcell’s music. This final section of the ensemble was made up of portions of music that was from a British play titled “The Gordian Knot Untied.” Roberts said that no one has been able to find the manuscript from this play, but they did find the original music to it.

Freshman photography major Mary Schaefer performed in the String Ensemble for the rst time this fall. Schaefer played the bass for this performance and has been playing bass for seven years. She took the string ensemble class because she wanted to continue pursuing classical music.

Schaefer said she thought the event was successful.

“This class has had a great impact on me,” Schaefer said. “I got to meet new people and play music at the same time.”

Schaefer plans to play the bass for as long as she is able to and said she is thankful for the opportunities she has been given at FMU to pursue music.

Students of all majors can participate in the event. Roberts said any faculty members or students who have an interest in chamber music are invited to join the University String Ensemble.

The string ensemble is held each semester as a part of the course taught by Roberts. In addition to this event, the University String Ensemble members give other recitals and accompany other musical groups on.