On March 31, Dr. Solomia Soroka and her students will be giving an April Fool’s Concert in Reith Recital Hall. This concert will feature pieces specifically for violin that have been deemed a little bit “crazy.” Rumor has it that the performers plan to dress wildly to accentuate the theme. The idea for the concert came from a first-year student, Monica Miller.
“It was all inspired by Monica and her piece,” said Dr. Solomia Soroka, a professor of music at Goshen College. “It is a piece by Henri Vieuxtemps, a Belgian composer.”
The piece is a reflection of Vieuxtemps’ love for the American culture. After he moved to the United States in the 1800s, he wanted to compose a piece that would encapsulate the culture. However, he could not come up with anything, so he decided to arrange variations of the well-known folk tune “Yankee Doodle.”
“Monica came to me and said there’s a piece that she had previously been working on with a former teacher, and [she would] like to continue learning it,” said Dr. Soroka. “When she played it for me, I was so stunned, because ‘Yankee Doodle’ is so silly sounding. That inspired me to collect more interesting or crazy pieces of any kind and dedicate the concert to April Fools.”
Another crazy piece is by Niccoló Paganini, which will be played by sophomore Peter Paetkau. It is played only on the G-string of the violin. According to Paetkau, this piece was composed when Paganini was sabotaged before a concert. Hoping he would cancel his performance, Paganini’s enemies removed three of the strings on his violin. Paganini played anyway, composing “Variations on a Theme from Moses in Egypt.”
In total, there will be twelve pieces played. The performers are Dr. Soroka, seniors Hillary Harder, Sam Smucker, Jorge Abreau and Thomas Leonard, junior Alejandro Genis, sophomores Hayley Mann, Peter Paetkau and Vince Kurtz, and first-years Monica Miller and A’Sean Street.
This is not the first recital Dr. Soroka has put on with her studio, but it is the first April Fool’s concert. The concert is free and open to the public at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31.