On Thursday, April 25, SLCC’s South City Campus hosted a musical program showcasing the talents of SLCC and Westminster College faculty with special guests from throughout the Salt Lake Valley.
The event, which began at 7:30 p.m. and concluded just after 8:30 p.m., was held in the atrium, a recent addition to the South City Campus’ south wing.
“It’s only been within the last few months that we discovered this space,” said SLCC music faculty member Craig Ferrin, “and we really like it.”
The large open structure of the atrium allows sound to flow freely, captivating listeners with a blanket of blissful melodies and tranquil lullabies while providing piercing contrast with pieces featuring themes of sorrow, mourning and despair.
Part of a new faculty showcase series which began earlier this year, performances featured compositions belonging to baroque and post-romantic eras focusing on the works of early English composers.
Opening the program, SLCC faculty member Leslie Henrie and Westminster faculty member Emily Williams performed George Frideric Handel’s Sonata in F Major.
Handel’s sonata, consisting of four movements, featured a beautiful introduction of delicate yet powerful, muted phrases provided by Williams’ piano. With violin in hand, Henrie created an emotionally complex melody that gave a refined voice to the piece.
Following movements by Handel, Henrie and Williams were joined by four other artists in a performance of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ On Wenlock Edge.
The number began sharply and abruptly with an eerie, shrilling sound created by talents of Henrie as well as special guest violinist Rebekah Blackner, violist Leslie Richards and cellist Brittany Gardner.
Vocals featured in the piece, with lyrics originating from poet A. E. Housman’s A Shropshire Lad, were performed by special guest Lucas Goodrich, a tenor currently finishing his doctorate at the University of Utah.
A quartet of string instruments created a fleeting movement within the piece, while Williams’ accompaniment at the piano accentuated the mystery within the melody.
Goodrich’s reaching timbre highlighted intense emotions and beneath each verse.
After a brief intermission, Henrie and Williams performed works by British composer Edward William Elgar, beginning with a performance of Salut d’amour, Op. 12.
Elgar’s Sonata for Violin and Piano, Op. 82 brought the evening’s entertainment to a close, showcasing the incomparable talents of both Henrie and Williams one last time.
The piece began with an abrupt anxiousness, though soon calmed by extended reassuring and playful phrases, and ended with a beautiful ascending melody that expressed an emotional richness characteristic to post-romantic compositions.
Overall, performances provided an evening of exceptional music which was more than adequately displayed by the tremendous talent held by each of the program’s participating musicians.