Friday, November 2, 2012

"Holy Crap!!!" - Music at UTSC

      Dr. Brett Kingsbury walks into the room with the look of a giddy child trying to hold back something he's found. With his hands behind his back, he bows quickly, proceeds to sits down in front of his grand piano, and finally shows us what he's hiding. With just the first chord the entire audience is frozen in awe. A music student beside me jots in his notebook, "Holy Crap!!!" The audience is gone now, we're all in the head of Sergei Rachmaninoff, living out his final burst of teenage angst at 19, in Moscow, 1892.

A poor comparison to seeing Brett perform in person.

     After he's done playing the first prelude, Dr. Brett Kingsbury, who works as a Sessional Lecturer here at UTSC, gives us an entertaining lesson about the history and technical information that surrounds the subject matter of tonight's performance, "The Bells of Moscow: Rachmaninoff's Preludes". The audience, a mixture of music students here for a grade, senior citizens with gentle smiles, faculty members, and of course, me, try to absorb and comprehend everything that's been said like inquisitive infants. The information appeals to both the musical novice, and the advanced student. In about 5 minutes I surprisingly learned a lot about musical motives and the lives of a few composers, Chopin, Bach, Rachmaninoff. But much of the details were saved for only the most educated musical gourmands.

     The short lesson prepared the audience to look for the themes and, in fact I believe it was magic, in Rachmaninov's Thirteen Preludes from Op. 23 that Brett played next. Brett could be heard quietly humming along as his hands darted accross his keyboard, his feet occassionally stamped, and music students nodded their heads in approval to the beat. The variety of emotions on display was utterly exhausting, halfway through the set, Brett stopped between songs, and had one of the other faculty members assist him with turning sheet music.

     If you've never been to a classical concert - never witnessed the drama of a live musical performance, or  the emotional cadence of its performers - you are missing out on an experience that can truly alter the fundamental way you feel things.

    Luckily, the people who put this concert on, Arts and Events Programming, have much more for us in store. As Andrew Hercules, Communications Coordinator for Arts and Events Programming, told me:
Over the next month, we are bringing a Cantonese opera group, a Chinese music ensemble, an assistant curator at the National Gallery of Canada, a science journalist, and members of the Scarborough Arts community to campus to perform and talk about their work.
     These events happen are all FREE people. But why do they even exist? Again Andrew Hercules has the answer:
Before the start of each academic year, the AEP team sits down and conceptualizes and creates a truly unique mix of events and programming that will appeal to anybody and everybody here at UTSC - whether you're a Management, Science, or English student; a UTSC alumni; a staff member; or a faculty member.
Be sure to come on out y'all, for more details you should check out the Arts and Events Programming website, You're sure to find something there that will intensely interest you.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment! Don't forget to join and FOLLOW our blog. :)