Midday Music Wows Audience

Arts  /  by David Paasche '15  /  October 26, 2012

Every month, a small group of Lawrenceville’s finest musicians gathers in the Clark Music Center during lunch to witness a short but nevertheless enriching performance. The Midday Music Concerts, which feature student musicians sometimes accompanied by faculty instructors, aim “to assemble a well-rounded 25 minute program of a variety of music,” organizer Matthew Campbell explained. The Allegro club and faculty members Matthew Campbell and Robert Palmer organize these concerts, the most recent of which took place earlier this month.

This year’s first concert on October 12, featured four pieces: “Sonata in Eb Major, BWV 1031,” composed by Bach; “Two Baritones and a Tenor,” composed by Handel, Purcell, and Bonocini; “Concerto in B minor,” composed by G. F. Handel; and “Etude No. 9, ‘Ricordanza,’” composed by Franz Liszt.  This concert was made possible by a total of eight musicians, students and faculty, all of whom sang and played various instruments, namely the flute, piano, and viola.

One such musician is Elbert Gong ’15, who has eleven years of experience playing piano. Gong is involved heavily with music both on and off campus, and hopes to make a positive difference in the community through opportunities such as Midday Music Concerts. Gong performed solo on October 12, producing a flawless rendition of Franz Liszt’s “Etude No. 9, ‘Ricordanza,’ which is available on the School’s YouTube Channel.” He chose to perform this piece “because it was a nice contrast with the other Baroque-Classical works in the program” and because he enjoyed its “periods of deep musicality and Romantic expressiveness.”

The audience that attended the year’s first Midday Music Concert was, in Campbell’s words, “small, but warmly receptive.” While all appreciated the supportive audience, many music enthusiasts, such as Gong, are hoping that more community members will begin showing interest in these types of events on campus. Since his first year at Lawrenceville, Gong has worked “to expose more of the student body to music and help people find a love for music.” However, Gong worries that, while the school community is highly supportive of athletic events, music is not given as much focus. Gong believes that “music is a self-rewarding experience, which means that the more you explore it, the more you will love it.” Overall, Gong hopes that Lawrentians will attend and support Midday Music Concerts in larger numbers as well as other music-focused events both on and off campus going forward.

The next Midday Music Concert is scheduled for Friday November 9 in Clark Music Center at 12:30 P.M., and all Lawrentians and parents are encouraged to attend. A small, warm audience seemed as a positive start to this year’s Midday Music Concert series, and musicians hope that a large, equally warm audience will make be in attendance come the second concert.