Concerts showcase faculty’s musical abilities

William Channell and William Channell

Even though viola is Matthew Daline’s main instrument, it won’t be the only thing people hear at his concert next week.

Daline, a professor of viola performance at the University, will be playing a concert next Wednesday that he organized and planned himself as part of the Faculty Artist Series.

The series, which is as old as the college itself, features a new concert each Wednesday, put together by a different faculty member in the college.

Faculty members have creative freedom over nearly every aspect of the performance. This includes everything from what music is played to who performs, though the faculty member is always the featured performer.

Daline said faculty do not have to stick to any one style or era of music.

“My first concert here, I was organizing mostly a chamber music concert series,” Daline said. “This next program, I’m doing a romantic concert.”

William Mathis, professor and chair of the music performance studies department, said the college puts on faculty concerts to provide music majors with models for their own performances. They can also help music majors complete some of the 15 recitals they are required to attend each semester.

“Over time, these four years, [students] are exposed to different styles,” Mathis said. “Hopefully, that will influence their performance with those styles as well.”

Mathis said the concerts are also an outlet for the faculty themselves.

“This constitutes [the faculty’s] research,” Mathis said. “This is the presentation of their creative work. So just like an academic, where someone would give a paper or present their research in some way, that’s essentially what they’re doing.”

Daline himself is an accomplished performer. He received his undergraduate degree at the Julliard School, and spent his graduate studies at Yale and Stony Brook University. He has also performed at Carnegie Hall and played with numerous orchestras on the East Coast.

Daline said being able to see such world-class performers in Bowling Green is part of why the Faculty Artist Series is important. The faculty can bring in any other performers they want, whether they are from the University or not.

“It’s a great resource for the faculty to show what we’re performing all around the country,” Daline said. “We can bring in colleagues from other colleges. This concert I’m playing coming up, I’m playing with just about the entire piano faculty.”

Music major Hannah Skowronek said seeing instructors perform in any setting is important, as it gives students an idea of what their instructors are capable of.

“Today I was in my conducting class and my teacher is going to be on Jay Leno in December conducting for [a musical guest],” Skowronek said. “That’s cool. It’s cool to see the people you’re taught by applying what they’re teaching you in real life.”

Skowronek said she would like to see instructors outside the college of music showcase their abilities as well.

“It wouldn’t hurt [the Faculty Artist Series] to go outside the college of musical arts,” Skowronek said. “I’d love to hear faculty poets, faculty writers, see galleries of the visual artists. It’s great to be aware of the culture that’s around you.”

The series is not just for music majors; it is open to the general public, a group the college is trying to attract more of.

“We do get people from across the campus and across the community, but by and large those that attend are music majors,” Mathis said. “That’s one thing we’re always trying to advertise and work on, is how can we promote our events to the non-music student.”

Overall, Mathis said he just wants students to take away a unique experience from attending a concert.

“There’s this essence of learning something or being exposed to something you didn’t know about before,” Mathis said. “Hopefully a non-major student would come to one of these concerts and see something they haven’t heard before, and see this professional performance that might spark their interest.”