Rieth Recital Hall was at full capacity as friends, family and faculty packed in the space to enjoy a diverse set of original compositions.Jesse Landis-Eigsti, a senior music composition major, presented his senior recital last Friday, Jan. 16. Not only did Landis-Eigsti often conduct or play piano in his pieces, he called upon many talented students to help give flight.
Landis-Eigsti composed for wind instruments, chorus, string trio, brass and even percussion, in the form of hands banging on music stands. Audience members received program notes to read while they experienced each unique composition.
Notes from Landis-Eigsti helped listeners gain perspective on why he chose to incorporate particular styles of music and different combinations of instruments. He offered his own, personally sculpted interpretations for the overarching theme, “Why do we make music?”
Before intermission the audience had already learned from Landis-Eigsti that music could help individuals to gather as a community. He showed this in his opening piece “Konkolo piano,” which involved a chorus, piano accompaniment and two percussionists who slapped their hands on the closed piano-top.
In his piece entitled “Requiem,” for woodwinds and piano – dedicated to the late Deanne Binde and her family – Landis-Eigsti modeled that music could be created to keep alive the memories of those no longer with us.
In addition, Landis-Eigsti said that people also “make music to be silly.” He debuted scenes from his operetta “Il Fratelli Mario Supere” – a nod to the Mario Brothers video games familiar to many of those growing in the 1980s. Brubaker brothers Martin (baritone), a sophomore, and Andy Brubaker (tenor), a junior, dressed the parts of Luigi and Mario, in plumber overalls with green and red accents.
The audience responded energetically as the Mario/Brubaker brothers discussed, through song, the issue of who exactly would rescue Princess Toadstool (or Princess Peach, as she is referred to in Japan).
Landis-Eigsti completed his Goshen College music career on a very gratifying note. The recital was the last of his graudation requirements.
He left for Nicaragua Tuesday, Jan. 13, but plans to be in the area through graduation at the end of April.