Music series stands strong

Six weeks of practice later, a hand-picked group of student musicians anticipate a challenging performance. On Monday, members of the Lafayette College Contemporary Music Ensemble (LCCME) will perform as part of the third installment of the New Music Lafayette Series. The performance will feature ten musicians in both group numbers and solo pieces, some playing the original work of professors and an alumnus.

The concert is one of four hosted by the New Music Lafayette series, which highlights two student and two professional concerts throughout the semester. This upcoming concert’s soloists are by students Michael Ryan ‘15, Julia Campbell ‘15, and Dana Lapides ‘16.

Ryan, a civil engineering and music double major, will perform two selections from Elliot Carter’s “Eight Pieces for Four Timpani.” With talents on the snare drum, keyboard, xylophone, and timpani, Ryan has been training musically for 12 years.

“Music’s always been in my blood, as my dad’s a music teacher,” Ryan said. “Apparently when I was a baby, my dad would always take me to Friday night football games and stick me in the bleachers with the drum line while he was busy conducting.  I guess that’s where it all started.”

On piano, Lapides will perform Lowell Lieberman Nocturne No. 4. The math and neuroscience double major has been playing for thirteen years, a skill that Lipdes describes as very complex.

“[Music is] an exercise of technical and physical exertion as well as intellectual and emotional expression,” Lapides said.

In addition to the solo pieces, the concert will feature two premieres of original works by Director of the Chamber Orchestra Darin Lewis, and Lafayette alumnus Zach Jones ‘13. While at Lafayette, Jones was a member of the ensemble, and is now hoping to attend graduate school for composing. His piece entitled “A Rose Reawakened” was inspired by his experience watching the film American Beauty.

“I first saw the movie as part of a college writing course at Lafayette,” Jones said. “It ended up being the one film that affected me most in college in terms of finding happiness and the meaning in life.”

Faculty member Darin Lewis wrote his piece to adequately exhibit the Lafayette band’s talents. After dedicating much time working with the band last spring, Lewis’s piece will reflect their abilities.

Lewis’ piece, “To Elysium,” references the ancient Greek idea of the afterlife.

“In this case the piece starts off at a figural place that is stark, still, and rather desolate,” Lewis said. “Over the course of the piece the music ‘travels’ to a better place, full of visual beauty and grandeur.”

When the sound of the French horn appears amidst the melody, it is symbolic of the arrival at “Elysium.”

To conclude the concert will be a performance of Terry Riley’s “In C” by the entire ensemble of soloists and group players. The event will take place at 8:00 p.m. at the Williams Center for the Arts.

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