You can associate formal stages, big lights and grand architecture with symphony and ensemble music – but really, students’ hard work and persistence is what ultimately shines through at the end.
During a three-part student chamber ensemble concert series on March 8 at noon and March 10 at noon and 4 p.m. in the music building, the public will get the opportunity to see what student musicians and vocalists have been practicing and rehearsing throughout the quarter.
This year features a varying and diverse repertoire; ranging from UC Davis’ Chamber Singers, percussion, string quartet, two guitar ensemble, piano duets, saxophone quartet and variations of other wind and string instruments.
David Granger, instructor of bassoon, is the student chamber ensemble coordinator and organizer for this upcoming week’s concert series. Granger joined the student chamber music program in 1985 and has watched the program grow since.
“When I was 30, I got the principal bassoon position in the Sacramento Symphony,” Granger said. “In 1982, Professor Kern Holoman, then chair of the UCD music department, asked if I’d like to become the bassoon teacher at UCD. In 1985, he asked me to take over the student chamber music program, and I’ve been fortunate to see that program grow and develop over the past two and a half decades.”
Perhaps the best part about this end-of-the-quarter concert series is the opportunity students get to showcase the hard work they’ve put in throughout the quarter.
“Student Chamber Ensemble concerts are a great opportunity for student performers to showcase what they have been working on this quarter,” said Arbel Bedak, Publicity and Production Assistant for UCD’s Music Department. “I think it is important for the UC Davis community – staff, faculty, and students – to come and support their talented fellow Aggies.”
One of these Aggies includes Amy Lui, a saxophone player in the student chamber ensemble program.
“This is actually my second year doing the Student Chamber Ensembles,” Lui said. “These ensembles are great mainly because both music and non-music majors can form their own ensembles with their friends and play music that they get to choose as long as they are approved by the department and to find supervision with one of the department music instructors.”
Along with saxophone and chamber music instructor Keith Michael Bohn, Lui will be playing with a saxophone ensemble of five. As a “sax quintet,” they will be playing three jazz pieces by Hill Holcombe (“Lunar Elevations”, “Emotions” and “Springtime is Swingtime”) at Tuesday’s noon concert.
The student chamber ensemble intends to create an inviting environment for all levels of audience members and faculty of the music community. Next week’s concert event will be completely free and aims to display students’ work and pieces in an intimate setting in the familiar Room 115 of the music building.
Granger has high hopes for the concert and believes the program will continue to thrive as long as students are enthusiastic and remain interested.
“This year, a couple of voice students in the university chorus organized a madrigal group of about a dozen students,” Granger said. “I’m really looking forward to their first performance at the afternoon concert on March 10. I expect such special projects to continue whenever the students are interested.”
For more information about this event or the student chamber ensembles, visit music.ucdavis.edu.
UYEN CAO can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.