MC student musicians to perform chamber concert

The viola and saxophone are just two of the instruments to be featured in Tuesday's Chamber Ensembles Concert. Photo by Megan Wright.
The viola and saxophone are just two of the instruments to be featured in Tuesday’s Chamber Ensembles Concert. Photo by Megan Wright.

Trying to relax during the stress of midterms? In need of a little rhythm to get yourself into a studying groove? What better way than with a night of music performed by your peers! Take a break from cramming and join the Maryville College Division of Fine Arts for its Chamber Ensembles Concert on Tuesday, October 11 at 7 pm in the Harold and Jean Lambert Recital Hall, located in Clayton B.

The show is free and open to the public, making it a perfect first foray for anyone who has never experienced a live chamber concert. Students who have not participated in a musical ensemble can sometimes feel intimidated by the thought of attending a concert; director of bands Dr. Eric Simpson assures that this concert is not your average trip to the symphony.

“It has a lot of variety, it’s fast-paced,” said Simpson. “This is a ‘short attention span’ kind of concert.” With student performers, the concert also has a no-pressure vibe, inviting all students to come hear what their peers in the Fine Arts Division have been practicing and perfecting since the start of the semester.

The lineup for the concert includes a number of different pieces, with some composed by masters such as Handel and Haydn, traditional Irish tunes, and even modern classics like John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s “Yesterday”.

Natalie Tankersley, a freshman violist with the orchestra, explains that the orchestral portion of the concert has a “British Invasion” theme. “It will be a mixture of pop music and classical. It would be a good performance for our peers [to attend] because there’s really something for both people who like classical and those who prefer pop!”

Because of its array of pieces following this theme, the orchestra offers a unique way for audience members to extend their musical tastes beyond what they may normally listen to.

Aside from its many different genres, the concert will also feature a variety of musical mediums. The Tartanband will present percussion and wind ensembles, along with strings from the Orchestra, the Lassies’ female chorus, and the polished, audition-only vocals of Off Kilter. This sampling of sounds offers something for all ears to enjoy!

A particularly exciting facet of this concert is that it features students participating in the TartanBand. Directed by Dr. Eric Simpson, the TartanBand is new to MC, and the chamber format of the concert will allow each section of instrumentalists to individually showcase their talent.

The idea of a chamber concert may be foreign to those without a musical background, but Dr. Simpson explains that a chamber concert simply “refers to music made by small groups of musicians.”

While the Tartanband normally performs as one band under Dr. Simpson’s direction, they will be performing in small student-led sections for this concert, allowing the audience to better understand the tones and sounds made by each type of instrument. This small setting offers a more intimate alternative to a big-band sound. “It’s cool to have non-conductor based bands,” said Simpson. “It’s more real.”

Whether you attend to show support for a friend who is performing, to hear for yourself what a chamber concert is all about, to give yourself some downtime during this busy part of the semester, or simply to enjoy some good music, the Chamber Ensembles Concert is an event you should take part in. All are welcome, so bring friends or family members to this free event and show both campus and community support for Maryville College’s student musicians!

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