Jacksonville State University faculty put on quite a show last Friday!
JSU’s most talented musically inclined teachers came together to show off their abilities in benefit of the Legacy Scholarship, which goes to a student whose family members have also attended Jacksonville State.
The evening began with Dr. Gail Steward and music department head Dr. Legare McIntosh playing a duet, Sonata in B-Flat Minor by Muzio Clementi, followed by a lovely tuba piece played by Chris Hosmer.
Ms. Eryn Oft made a last minute decision to change her piece from Mozart to J.S Bach when her cellist was unable to make the concert due to an injury. Her trusty companion Spottacus (a 4 foot tall stuffed giraffe) kept her company on stage, dressed for the occasion in a tuxedo jacket and bow tie as she played her bassoon.
Dr. Wendy Freeland played a solo piano piece, and Dr. Patricia Corbin graced us with her mezzo-soprano voice, singing a bluesy tune, When Sunny Gets Blue.
Tango-Etude No. 4 was played on the alto saxophone by Dr. Logsdon.
The audience was touched by Fantasy for Flute and Piano Movement II Elegie, which was written by Dr. Gail Steward (piano teacher) about a professor she was close to whom had passed away. She quickly cheered up with the fast-moving Movement III Feliz.
The next performance caused hysterics when Mrs. Teresa Stricklin and Dr. Dani Jones sang Duetto Buffo di due Gatti by Rossini, wrapped in feathered boas.
The entire song is imagery for two feisty kittens fighting, and the complicated lyrics consist of cat language (meows) in variations.
The two accompanists, Dr. Freeland and Dr. Andrew Nevala fought, pushed, and shoved each other off of the piano bench, taking impolite turns assisting the two “cats” with their tune.
After the show, Mrs. Stricklin said, “The faculty recital is for fun for sure, and man if we can inspire our students on top of that, that’s even better!”
When asked why she chose the piece, she laughed and said, “Well, it was Dr. Jones’ idea. She wanted to do the duet, and we asked Dr. Nevala to play. Then she had the idea to ask Dr. Freeland to work with us, and we just started brainstorming.”
There was a brief intermission and, when the concert resumed, four pianists played the Spanish Dances, Opus 12 by Moszkowski on two grand pianos.
Dr. Douglas Gordon inspired on his trombone with The Girl I Love from Lady, Be Good by Gershwin.
Dr. James Woodward played a movie-soundtrack-worthy original piece titled An Old Man and the Ocean, published this year on the Double Bass.
Dr. Mark Brandon entranced the audience with his smooth clarinet skills.
Dr. Christopher Probst and Dr. David Lambert kept things fun with Fanfare et Funk (Two-Part Intervention for Trumpet and Trombone).
The biggest surprise of the night was Dr. Nathan Wight, who dressed in drag and sang I Want to Sing in Opera.
If the crowd was stunned by previous performances, this one took the gold. Staying in character the entire time, he flirted and fooled with the spectators.
The audience was mesmerized and shocked. When asked if the performance made him nervous, he replied, “Sure. I get nervous before every performance”.
Audience member and music education major Brianna Guest said “Watching the people who teach me every day perform is inspiring because in my lessons I get to see what they know, but I don’t always get to see what they can do themselves.
Watching and hearing them perform and seeing how talented they are, inspires me to be as good of a performer and teacher as they are.”
She went on to say “Dr. Wight’s performance was definitely the most entertaining but Dr. Woodward’s had me in tears. It was so moving”.
The professors teaching at Jacksonville State University are truly talented and inspirational.