Hear the “music of friends” at the only chamber music concert of the year

By Maddie Ruth

On Tuesday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m., Rieth Recital Hall will resonate with the works of great composers like Felix Mendelssohn, Franz Schubert and George Gershwin. The Goshen College Chamber Orchestra and Chamber Ensemble Concert will feature performances by over a dozen student musicians.

Chamber music varies from the typical orchestral experience because it features a smaller group of musicians and does not call for a conductor. The personal vibe of a chamber group has led to its being referred to as the “music of friends.”

Christopher Fashun, assistant professor of music, leads the GC Chamber Orchestra made up of eight stringed instruments. Fashun is enthusiastic about the repertoire that he is sure will appeal to a spectrum of listeners.

He said, “It is a great program with a lot of variety, including works you don’t hear often, from Baroque to a Contemporary Jazz-influenced 20th century piece!”

In addition to the stellar program he has lined up, Fashun said he is extremely impressed with the level of talent and dedication of the performers. “The music is demanding. We don’t have a great many instruments, but it is amazing that they pull it off,” he said. Fashun will not be conducting the group, but will instead play viola with the students.

It is not only the faculty that are excited for the performance on Tuesday. Student members of the ensembles express passion for the art of chamber music. Justin Yoder, a sophomore who will be playing in the chamber orchestra and in a cello quintet, said that chamber music is the best kind of music to play because of the collaborative aspect and the personal atmosphere.

Levi Smucker, a sophomore cellist, said, “The unique thing about chamber music is that we are so invested in it. We make a sacrifice to squeeze rehearsals into our busy schedules because of the sheer joy of playing the music.” In fact, many participants opt to participate for zero credit hours.

The concert will be the chamber orchestra’s first and only time performing on campus this year.  The program will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday in Rieth Recital Hall and is free and open to the public.

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Written by Lavonne Shetler

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