With fall creeping slowly into the daily lives of the Boise State community, students have had the opportunity to hear some of their peers perform piano duos of classical pieces such Rachmaninoff, Gershwin and Brahms, to name a few.
On the evening of Oct. 1, student pianists highlighted their talents onstage at the Morrison Center Recital Hall. A combination of both current piano students and new alumni members partnered up in order to deliver renditions of their chosen piano works.
The atmosphere in the recital hall portrayed starry eyed proud parents and friends applauding the student performers. One by one, rendition by rendition, upbeat allegro classical piano music filled the halls of the Morrison Center.
The student duo recital takes place every semester as students have to register to perform. They receive credit for the performances, as they have a very short time to prepare for the recital once they enroll and select their music.
“There will be six duets taking place in total, and one quartet,” said Del Parkinson Ph.D., professor of music and piano performance at Boise State. “This is how it works, 6 sets of student duos will play a piece together, each on their own piano, facing towards one another. For the quartet, there will be two pianos on stage, two people per piano.”
There are many difficulties that come with having such a short time to prepare, which is usually around only a month. Student performers have to adapt to the anxiety of not only playing in front of an audience, but also familiarize themselves with the music they select and learn to play it with a partner.
“ It sometimes takes work for two contrasting instruments to blend together, and with two pianos that challenge is lessened,” said Ryan Wight, senior piano performance major. “There also setbacks, but in general it’s a really rewarding experience.”
When asked to elaborate more on the emotions that come will having so little time to prepare, Wight said, “Right before the performance I always wonder if I’ve practiced enough. Especially with duo music, I worry about missing a cue or missing a page turn.”
Parkinson has been a part of the duo piano recitals since its beginning. It provides an opportunity for students to develop their performance experience as well as collaborate with other student-piano majors.
“There are alumni that perform alongside some of the students. Becca Taylor, who is a recent graduate, played with Ryan (Wight) in their piece by composer Manel De Falla,” said Parkinson.