Canadian pianist performs eclectic setlist

The Wichitan

Lucille Chung showcases variety of talents at Music Series at Akin 

Pianist Lucille Chung and a quintet of woodwind musicians closed the second season of the Music Series at Akin April 1.

The program included music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Jean Francaix and Ludwig van Beethoven. The performance was originally scheduled for Nov. 1 but was rescheduled due to Hurricane Sandy.

“I felt the performance went very well. We actually just rehearsed once right before the performance. The last time we all met was five months ago, and so there was this sense of heightened alertness on the day of the performance,” Chung said.

Woodwind musicians included Peter Kolkay on bassoon, Tara Helen O’Connor on flute, William Purvis on horn, David Shifrin on clarinet and Stephen Taylor on Oboe.

Members of the group have been nominated and awarded for numerous musical prizes, including Grammys, and teach at universities such as Yale and Vanderbelt.

“Musicians can help students by inspiring them during a performance giving them something to look forward to in the future as they envision themselves doing the same,” Chung said.

Since Chung was a student herself not long ago, she enjoys performing for them. Chung encourages students to follow their dreams with integrity, hard work and positivity.

“I love performing for college students. I feel a kinship towards them because I was a student myself not too long ago. They are our future audiences and it’s important to nurture their attendances to concerts. the life of a musician isn’t as glamorous as it may seem. It takes constant perseverance and dedication, but most importantly, you must love what you are doing because that spark will always come through,” Chung said.

Chair of the music department Timothy Justus said these musicians are some of the best on the planet and having them in Wichita Falls was a great opportunity.

“They are singular events of great quality that we would not typically see in venues like Wichita Falls, but through the generosity of the Perkins-Prothro Foundations they are able to see it here,” Justus said.

As chair of the music department, Justus said students get the opportunity to see talented musicians close to home and perform on stage.

“One of the values is that we see these people performing on stage. They are one of the finest performers on the planet, and I say that without hyperbole. If we work hard and persevere it is possible for anyone,” Justus said.

Freshman in vocal music education Matt Kohler attended this event and said he enjoyed the performance.

“They played very skillfully. I’ve never heard a woodwind ensemble, so I think they’re really nice,” Kohler said.

Senior in music education Jason Mincy said he enjoyed the experience of seeing musical talent on stage because he obtained elements of music he could not have been exposed to in a classroom setting.

“I thought they did a wonderful job. It was refreshing to get a different perspective and hear different thing that we don’t hear every day. We know how our professors play and how we play so it was nice to hear someone else perform,” Mincy said.

As a music major, Mincy said he attended the event to enjoy a musical performance with fellow students in the same study in an alternative environment than a classroom.

“I can admit it’s a different ensemble than we get to hear on an everyday basis on our campus. I’s nice to be able to hear them live and not on a recording in a classroom,” Mincy said.

Junior in music Mello-Dee Capps said she has never seen such expressiveness in a performance as she did with this ensemble. The fluidity of the movements each player expressed added to the performance.

“It was nice to see the flutist enjoying her instrument. As someone who played the flute for several years, all I saw was people that were rigid and stiff.  To see how she moved with the music was amazing,” Capps said.

From this performance, Capps said she could tell the musicians enjoyed playing and performing.

“It was nice to see a pianist who truly loves her craft. There can be no doubt from anyone who saw her that is in the profession that was made for her. That isn’t something that we, music majors, get to see a lot of. We see the very serious performers that, while they are astonishing at what they do, they don’t seem to enjoy it like she does,” Capps said.