At young ages, Boise State music professors Brian and Betsi Hodges both knew which instruments they wanted to dedicate much of their lives to.
In elementary school, Brian Hodges decided the cello was his calling.
“Somehow I gravitated towards it,” he said. “I don’t remember why. I started it in the fifth grade and once I started, it stuck.”
Betsi Hodges said she wanted to continue the family tradition of playing the piano.
“I always loved tinkering around at the piano when I was very young, imitating my two older brothers who were taking piano lessons,” Betsi Hodges said. “Later on, my mother played a recording of my grandfather, who had died before I was born, playing the piano and I loved it. I wanted to be able to play the pieces I had heard.”
Today, both perform and instruct here at Boise State.
According to David Feldman, graduate cello performance major, Brian and Betsi have made a positive impact on music students.
“I enjoy the opportunity to work with an instructor who is well accomplished in every respect, but who doesn’t have the inflated ego that can be found with other teachers working at his (Brian’s) level,” he said.
Matt Fiorentino, graduate cello performance major, said he agrees that Brian Hodges is an effective instructor.
“Throughout my undergrad I had a teacher who was at the same level as a performer, but as a teacher was really nasty about your mistakes and blamed you for them,” Fiorentino said. “Dr. Hodges understands that’s where you’re coming from and is really supportive without breaking you down.”
Fiorentino said he is looking forward to working with Betsi Hodges.
“She’s so professional. I’m going to be setting up rehearsals with her. Dr. Hodges is showing me all her material. I watched a video of her playing and I was like ‘Wow. She really is amazing’,” he said.
Brian and Betsi Hodges will perform together Friday as part of the Faculty Artist Series. Both said they are looking forward to participating in this series.
“I think the Faculty Artist Series is important for several reasons,” Betsi Hodges said. “First, it allows us to demonstrate and continue perfecting our skills on our respective instruments. We are able to share our love of music and a lot of great repertoire with the students, as well as the community. This can’t be done by just reading about it or even listening to recordings. I personally love to be able to communicate to an audience, even though it is in a non-verbal way. It is also a wonderful opportunity to hear a variety of different instruments and voice all in one place.”
Brian Hodges said he is particularly looking forward to bringing something new to the recital hall.
“The pieces that we’re doing are really amazing pieces,” he said. “Two of them we’ve performed before; one of them is a newer piece and it’s not very well known. The chance to in a way introduce that piece to the people is always a privilege; it’s an honor. It’s something we’re really passionate about. We hope that people who come will pick up on that.”
The Faculty Artist Series performance by Brian and Betsi Hodges will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Morrison Center Recital Hall. This event is free for students and children, $5 general admission, and $3 for seniors. For more information, call 426-1596.