FHSU music faculty to host showcase Friday

BY CAITLIN LEIKER

FHSU’s Music Department will host a free faculty showcase Friday. After several years without a showcase, the occasion will put a spotlight on the music faculty’s expertise in action.

In the past, the department hosted a faculty showcase annually but it was discontinued due to waning availability. The COVID-19 pandemic lengthened the hiatus. Music Department Chair, Benjamin Cline, said he plans to continue the yearly showcase “as long as there’s interest.”

“It’s good to change things up,” Cline said, wanting to avoid concerts “where it’s the same thing over and over again, so you kind of stop paying attention.”

The faculty showcase will span a variety of genres, stretching from the Classical and Romantic periods to works composed within the last few years.

One of the newer works to be performed by Cline was composed by professor Timothy Rolls, incorporating cello and electronics. Cline had already played Rolls’s piece in Belgium, but once COVID shutdowns hit, playing it for a Hays audience was out of the question until this summer’s High Plains Music Camp.

“I’m playing it again, but it’s [Roll’s] piece,” Cline said. “The composer is on our program as if he were the performer.”

Now, with COVID restrictions reduced and classes back in session, Cline said it’s not just “a year of return,” but a year of “feeling more normalized”…something that can be celebrated with the return of an event like the faculty recital.

Vocal professor Ivalah Allen, one of the scheduled performers, expressed excitement while referring to the showcase as an “opportunity for collaboration” before schedules get tighter later in the semester.

“We want to show the students that, not only do the faculty teach, but we also ‘do’,” Allen said. “It shows artistry and musicianship, but it’s mostly an introduction to the music faculty– not only for our students and the campus, but for the community as well.”

The recital will be at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at the Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center. 

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