By Amanda Wright
“Music at Noon” has been a tradition since the inception of the music program at Roanoke College. Any student who takes private lessons through the college or is part of the ensemble is welcome to play at any of the events held two to three times per semester. Dr. Joseph Blaha, associate professor of fine arts, explained that the purpose of the short performances is to expose budding musicians to a wider audience and give them an opportunity to practice performing short solos in preparation for their careers after graduation.
The recital hall in Olin is the perfect backdrop for the event. Student performers, their friends, and music department faculty filed into the room while ushers handed out programs. Only two instrumentalists played during the event, and both were accompanied by Elizabeth Bachelder, a teaching associate as well as a pianist with the Kandinsky Trio. The first was Kathryn Duggan, oboist, who performed at the top of the hour. She played Sonata No. 1 in C Minor, Adagio and Allegro, composed by Handel. Mackenzie Sullivan closed the afternoon short performances on piano with Slavonic Dance in C minor, Op. 46, No.7, allegro assai by Dvorak.
The majority of the afternoon comprised of a range of vocalists from baritone to soprano. Piano accompaniments were provided by Drs. Bachelder and Marianne Sandborg. Tenor Logan Stugart opened the program with a selection from the opera Semele called “Where e’er you walk” composed by Handel. Kat Binney, soprano, performed a piece called “Quando si trovana le basse femmine” from the opera, loosely translated, The World of the Moon written by Galuppi. Baritone Nathan Sliwa followed with his piece called “Four Nights” from The Four Poems of Fredegond Shove by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Sarah Diaz, soprano, sang “Ouiseaux, si tous les ans” composed by Mozart. Soprano Sabrina McIntyre dazzled the audience with “Die Mainacht” written by Johannes Brahms. Mezzo-soprano Caitlin Wright rounded out the afternoon vocalists with her fun rendition of “By the Sea” from Sweeney Todd.
Two more Music at Noon sessions are scheduled for the remainder of the semester, one on Tuesday, March 24 and the other on Tuesday, April 14. All performances begin precisely at noon in the Olin Recital Hall.