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Celebrating the Britten Centenary Faculty Concert

Darlene Harris

On Sunday, November 3, Dr. Marsh, chair of the Fine Arts Department, and David Feldman, Roanoke alum, presented music by English composer Benjamin Britten.  Feldman most recently worked on the Cello Suite No. 1 in G major, Opus 72 in his graduate studies.  This has become something very near and dear to Feldman, and he wanted the opportunity to showcase his work.  Over the summer, Dr. Marsh and Feldman decided to put on a joint concert, celebrating the works of Benjamin Britten.

Dr. Marsh opened with some pieces on the piano, the first called “Night Piece (Notturno)”.  The last piece he played, “Holiday Diary, Opus 5” had four movements.  Each movement was named to depict an activity one might experience in a day.  Each movement tended to sound exactly like its title, and the last movement, “Night,” was a recap of the other movements.  Dr. Marsh mentioned before he began to play the piece that Britten was 21 years old and a senior in college when he wrote this piece; a pretty amazing feat.

The Cello Suite was a beautiful piece and the composition entertained.  The techniques used in the cello, for example: triple stops, harmonics, and more, were evident throughout the entire suite.  For many music students, hearing those techniques outside of a class setting proved to be an invaluable and exciting opportunity.  Dr. Marsh and Feldman ended the concert with a piece they played together.

Additional concerts this semester include Jennie Blaney’s Senior Music Project on Sunday, November 10 at 4 p.m., Lessons and Carols XXIX featuring RCC and the Oriana Singers on Sunday, December 1 at 3 & 5 p.m., the Jazz and Wind Ensemble Concert on Thursday, December 5 at 7:30 p.m., Kandinsky Trio Saturday, December 7 at 7:30 p.m., and Handel’s Messiah and Vivaldi’s Gloria featuring RCC and the Oriana Singers on Sunday, December 15.