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Winter Composition Concert: Ruth Asawa School of the Arts

The Winter Composition Concert, instructed by Liam Wade, was a nice treat for everyone who went on this boring Wednesday afternoon. It was the middle of the week and everyone felt the weekend coming up, but not quite there yet. The concert took place in Mr. Todd Wedge's Vocal Room on the 3rd floor, and a lot of us got to skip theory class for this (hah!).

The first piece was Duo for Violin and Viola, composed by pianist Jeffrey Qiu and performed by violinist Anju Goto and violist Perris Yee. This piece was very interesting and I enjoyed how the roles of the instruments were distinct.

The next piece, also Duo for Violin and Viola, composed by vocalist Hope Nelson and performed by the same pair, was very pleasant in its nature.

Vocalist Allison Shapiro composed Wishful Thinking, which was performed by violinist Joan Shalit and Allison Shapiro on piano. This piece was very emotional and I felt like the audience could easily relate to it. Ms. Shapiro was inspired by the movie Her. "The movie had a song, Song on a Beach, that inspired me."

Violinist Anju Goto composed Theme of Fye, which was performed by flautist Hansen Wu and Anju Goto herself, now on viola. I found a duet between flute and viola a very awesome combination. Ms. Goto said, "Fye is a character from a manga called Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle. I like the character so I tried expressing his inner thoughts into a piece."

Storyline by vocalist Arlyss Hays was performed by herself on piano. This piece was extremely exciting for the listeners and everyone was into this piece.

Duet for Violin and Viola by Alice Kubo was then performed by Anju Goto and Perris Yee. The piece had a sweet quality and was very charming.

Duo for Violin and Viola, by Iven Feng, was also performed by Anju Goto and Perris Yee. This piece had a different mood from Alice Kubo's composition, and it was very exciting. Mr. Feng was influenced by the great Johann Sebastian Bach.

Violist Perris Yee composed Volatile Fiery Volcano, performed by Anju Goto and himself. This piece really did depict a volatile fiery volcano.

Then came vocalist Greg Porter's Gait to the Gallows, performed by Anju Goto and cellist Christine Blair. This piece I found very distinct in emotions. The rich tones of the cello and the melodious violin part all added to the effect of the piece.

Vocalist Forrest Nolan composed Outré for classical guitar and cello. He performed it on guitar with Elizabeth Rose on cello. This piece was very interesting because guitar and cello are rarely combined instruments. When asked about his influence, Mr. Nolan said, "I had been listening to lots of Edith Piaf and other French lounge music. After landing on the first chord on a guitar, I decided I want to write something that sounded like French jazz."

The next piece was Dearest composed by vocalist Dorian Cunningham for two tenors and two basses. The piece was performed by vocalists Forrest Nolan, Greg Porter, Dorian Cunningham, and Kyle Miller. I enjoyed this piece very much. Mr. Cunningham said, "I wanted to write a song for one of my brother's poems called Translation of the Next Kingdom Over." 

Pianist Jeremy Rosenstock composed Dream Song and performed it himself on piano. The piece had a specific style which was consistent throughout the whole piece. Mr. Rosenstock said he was influenced by Eric Satie's Gymnopedies.

Oh, What Bitter Heartbreak by vocalist Elio Bucky was one of the most emotion-filled pieces on the program. It was performed by vocalist Forrest Nolan and pianist Iven Feng. Mr. Bucky said about his piece, "The melody of the song kind of just came to me on a particularly sad day. I wrote it down and developed it and eventually set it to words, which is weird considering I set words to music rather than the other way around 98% of the time. It was originally going to be for countertenor but I preferred the timbre of a tenor for the song after more consideration. This is the first art song I've ever written, so I'm still learning how to write for piano and voice together. Please stay tuned for more art songs later this year, which will be premiered by the amazing soprano Rhoslyn Jones!" 

The very last piece on the program was Convus Melicus for String Quartet by guitarit Peter Varga. The piece was majestic and possessed inner grandeur. It was a great finale for the concert. The piece was performed by violinist Joan Shalit, violinist Miguel Mercado, violist Dyney van Bueren, and cellist Christine Blair. 


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