A variety of groups took the stage at Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center Monday evening. The Fort Hays State University Department of Music and Theatre hosted a Small Ensemble Concert, featuring both vocalists and instrumentalists.
Performing first was the women’s chorale, conducted by Terry Crull. The first song, “Away from the Roll of the Sea,” started with a lovely piano bit by the accompanist Pam McGowne.
The soothing song featured a solo by senior Jacinta Carter, singing soprano I.
The women’s chorale threw in a short song, “The Yak,” with lyrics that were difficult to understand because it was so fast.
Ending their ensemble with the infamous “Over the Rainbow,” the vocalists performed without the help of McGowne at the piano.
The next bunch to take the stage was the double-reed consort. Performing only one song, the instrumentalists were on and off the stage within minutes. Kay Werth directed as the students played “Hungarian Dance No. 5,” a playful tune that continually slowed down only to speed back up again.
A flute trio consisting of sophomore Barbara Bickner, senior Athena Chen and senior Stephanie Demuth played two fairly short pieces entitled “Trio for Flutes” and “Flutes in the Garden.” The second piece was calming and a pretty composition. The coach for the flute trio was Hilary Shepard.
Next was the woodwind quintet featuring the flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn and bassoon. Kristin Pisano coached the ensemble. The group’s single piece lasted longer than the flute trio and double-reed consort combined. With a mouthful of a title, “Wind Quintet in E Flat Major, Op. 88, No. 2, I. Lento – Allegro moderato,” the piece sounded like something people dance to in a palace.
The bassoon quartet took over, under direction of Kay Werth once again. Hearing the first few notes of the bassoons, I thought they were going to break out into the song “Funkytown.” Though I was slightly disappointed when I realized otherwise, the piece “Maverick” was catchy and somewhat speedy.
Pisano took over again as she led the clarinet choir. I was personally looking forward to this ensemble the most, having played the clarinet for several years. The first piece, “Adagio from Serenade No. 11, K. 375,” was slow and soft, almost like a lullaby. The second selection, entitled “Hunting Song, Op. 39, No. 1” was much faster in tempo and very short.
The brass choir was the final ensemble of the night. Director Lane Weaver ended the concert with a bang. The final piece, “Suite for Brass Choir,” was composed by student senior Nathan Brown, who played the trombone.
The first movement, “Otchapaglia,” was a little too loud for a good part of the piece, but the second movement, “Wake,” started at more of a piano dynamic. The style changed to legato, which was nice to listen to. After a while, the brass made the switch back to loud and majestic. The third and final movement, “Pedalia,” was spirited. The concert ended in a loud, mighty sound before the audience showed its approval with applause.
Today at 2:30 p.m., the Department of Music and Theatre will host a Student Recital in Palmer Hall, located in Malloy Hall.