Six students showcased their musical talents during the 58th Concerto-Aria performance at the Goshen College Music Center on Saturday Feb. 17.The six students — Anna Buckwalter, Joshua Liechty, Monica Miller, Tyrus Tucker, and Mark Kreider — were selected through competition to perform at the event. Twenty students competed, and selecting who would perform at Saturday’s concert “was a difficult decision,” said Jose Rocha, associate professor of music and conductor of the GC Symphony Orchestra. “Each student competed in ‘Hunger Games’ fashion,” Rocha said.
During the concert, each student performer was accompanied by the GC Symphony Orchestra.
The performance started with Rocha leading the symphony and the Concerto-Aria performers in a rendition of Aaron Copeland’s solemn composition “Variations on a Shaker Hymn.” Rocha noted onstage that this composition was written in Copland’s later years while living in a nursing home.
Following the Copland piece was a performance by junior Anne Buckwalter. Buckwalter played the first movement of Beethoven’s “Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major,” entitled “Allegro con brio.” This piece is noticeably more upbeat than many of Beethoven’s later compositions.
The next performance featured baritone Joshua Liechty, a junior, performing a rendition of “Look! Through the port…’ from ‘Billy Budd’” by Benjamin Britten. Before Liechty took the stage, Rocha urged the audience to, “imagine moving to a different place, on a ship,” as the song is sung by a man contemplating life on a ship after committing murder.
After Liechty, senior Monica Miller took the stage on violin. Miller, along with the GC Symphony played the upbeat “Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso” by Camille Saint-Saens. Following intermission was junior Tyrus Tucker on marimba performing a contemporary selection, “Concerto for Marimba Strings” by Emmanuel Sejourne.
The final two performances featured another vocal composition, “It is Enough” from “Elijah” by Felix Mendelssohn, performed by junior Lukas Thompson, baritone. Mark Kreider closed the show with the first movement of Sergi Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp minor,” entitled “Vivance.”
The Symphony Orchestra will not perform again until April 22, but the Men’s Chorus will perform a home concert on March 4 following their spring break tour.