The Winter Visual and Performing Arts Center (VPAC) was packed this weekend with all of the concerts that were being performed. On Saturday night, Sarah Newswanger performed her junior recital for her friends and family.
Sarah, a piano performance major, had a set including pieces from some of the most prolific composers for the instrument including Johann Sebastian Bach, Chopin, Debussy and Bartok.
She kicked off the program with Bach’s “Prelude and Fugue in F Major, BWV 880,” part of “The Well-Tempered Clavier” and then moved to two different Chopin Etudes. The “Six Dances in Bulgarian Rhythm” by Bartok displayed odd metered Hungarian folk music that also demonstrates American influence.
Newswanger also performed Johannes Brahams’ “Trio V” with Israel Gonzalez on clarinet and Emma Noble on cello. Her recital was capped with all three movements of “Pour le Piano” by Claude Debussy.
On Sunday, there were two distinctive concerts held at the VPAC. The first being a combined Concert Band and Wind Ensemble concert, followed by a combined junior recital of Andrea Kurnat and Emma Noble.
The concert band, lead by conductor Dr. Keith Wiley, kicked off the afternoon program with a lively performance of iconic pieces written for symphonic band. The most ambitious piece they performed was Gustav Holst’s “Second Suite in F for Military Band,” which is a staple in band repertoire. The concert band also performed a folk piece by Ralph Vaughn Williams, who was a contemporary and friend of Holst.
The wind ensemble then took the stage and opened with “Symphonc Dance No. 3″ by Clifton Williams and then transitioned into four different movements of the renaissance themed “William Byrd Suite” by Gordon Jacob. Next was a more modern piece called “Metroplex,” designed to transport the audience to the New York city skyline and then take them on a wild taxi ride. The band concluded with “Albanian Dance,” by Shelly Hanson.
The weekend was capped with the split junior recital of voice major Andrea Kurnat and cello player Emma Noble. Performing to a crowded house, the two women performed a stacked bill that proved to be no match for their skill sets. Kurnat got things rolling with two Italian pieces, followed by Noble who began her performance with a Goltermann concerto for cello.
Kurnat’s selections included wide variety of different languages such as French, Italian, German and English. Each of which provided different vocal and lyrical styles that were properly demonstrated through her performance. Noble’s cello pieces were as demanding as Sarah Newswanger’s piano pieces, including a movement from Bach’s “Cello Suite No. 3 in C major, BWV 1009,” a movement from Beethoven’s “Sonata for Cello and Piano” and “Kol Nidrei” by Max Bruch.
Each of them performed with self-possession as they delivered each piece and held the audience’s attention. When they finished, the audience responded with a standing ovation. They then congregated into the lobby for refreshments and conversation with this milestone in their collegiate career fresh in their minds.
To find out more about the events that are happening in the VPAC, visit their website at http://www.millersville.edu/music/.