Durango Telegraph - A fall serenade: Faculty Collage mixes classic, contemporary
A fall serenade: Faculty Collage mixes classic, contemporary

The first rite of passage for many music departments is the fall faculty recital. Fort Lewis College didn’t disappoint last Sunday. The Faculty Collage brought out the FLC dream team, with almost every full-timer and adjunct participating. This may be a department in transition, but by Sunday’s evidence, it’s performance ready.

With a mix of classics and contemporary works, the musicians started out in dead seriousness and ended with the audience laughing, foot-tapping and shouting “Hey.” The shortest work on the program came in under three minutes, a little percussive cello piece written in 1985. The longest work, a nine-minute series of variations for bassoon, clarinet and piano, showcased Douglas Owens’ bassoon artistry and jaunty performance style, Mark Walters stalwart clarinet, and Lisa Campi’s ever-winning piano accompaniment.

Among the highlights:

• Soprano Linda Mack made her Durango debut as a contralto singing Bach’s tightly woven duet “Et Misericordiae” with tenor Andrew Homburg. Mack also sang two soprano solos, giving confident, full-voiced

readings of Handel and Mozart arias.

• Alto Saxophonist Douglas Owens performed two contrasting works on one of his many instruments. “Sicilenne” revealed the instrument’s lyrical beauty, and “Rumba” demonstrated Owens’ virtuosity. He also played a rare solo bassoon piece, “Rhapsody,” by Wilson Osborne, giving line readings plenty of time to breathe and introducing the lyrical qualities of the instrument.

• Cellist Katherine Jetter purposefully chose a “trivial” work, Aaron Minsky’s “The Train Whistle,” which puffed steadily down a narrow gauge track with intermittent whistle stops, boogie-woogie underpinnings and a persistent chug.

• Violinist Kasia Sokol delivered the plaintive “Adagio” from Bach’s Sonata in G Minor with force and tenderness.

• Tenor Andrew Homburg called the people to better days in Handel’s beautiful and familiar “Comfort Ye My People” from “The Messiah.” The work received a Baroque reading with Linda Mack on harpsichord and Katherine Jetter on cello.

• Flutist Kathryn Shaffer and pianist Kristen Chen reminded us of the lyrical beauty often hidden in Sergei Prokofiev’s music as they played one movement from the Sonata in D Major, Op. 94.

• Trumpeter Tim Farrell, trombonist Paul Bara and French hornist Lacey Black gave a satiric interpretation of patriotic campaign music complete with shouted slogans. John Philip Sousa got an instant makeover. In anticipation of the comedy troupe Capitol Steps on the FLC campus next week, the brass trio called out slogans like “Lipstick on a pig.”

• Pianist Lisa Campi provided accompaniment for many of the performers in complex and demanding works. With Mack in a piano four-hands rendition of two Brahmsian dances, Campi-Mack brought the evening to a rousing finish. Beer mugs strategically placed on the piano and an invitation to the audience to shout at punctuating intervals, the duo turned the recital hall into a German beer garden. Everyone went home humming Brahms, visibly happy.

– Judith Reynolds

In this week's issue...

January 25, 2024
Bagging it

State plastic bag ban is in full effect, but enforcement varies

January 26, 2024
Paper chase

The Sneer is back – and no we’re not talking about Billy Idol’s comeback tour.

January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows