Monday, January 5, 2015

EYSO Faculty Recital Benefits Scholarship Fund

Switching roles from teacher to concert performer, more than a dozen accomplished area musicians shared their gifts with an audience of students and parents in a free concert Sunday at Elgin Community College. 

The seven-part program featured performances by the conductors, teachers, and administrators of the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra's numerous ensembles, leaving no doubt as to the passion and depth of talent that sustains a professional musician.

Members of EYSO faculty perform "Septet, op. 65" by Camille Saint-Saëns

The tradition of the great masters was honored in classics by Bach and Saint-Saëns, alongside works by living composers scored for surprising combinations like cello and soprano voice. Four pieces were brilliantly arranged by the faculty themselves, as though to convince students that music is a living art requiring personal involvement far beyond playing back the notes printed on a page.

Events like these also offer a chance for EYSO faculty to demonstrate that music encompasses more than just strings, woodwinds and brass. The marimba, berimbau and electric guitar were played to superb effect, and the electric viola and bowed vibraphone highlighted the possibilities of unconventional playing techniques.

At the hands of an artist, electronic effects are a natural extension for traditional instruments, and jazz, television scores, and world music are all part of an equal-opportunity medium of expression that all people understand.

Karen Archbold, soprano and Timothy Archbold, cello
perform "Songs of the Night Wind" by Gwyneth Walker.

With all due respect to your neighbor lady with the dusty, old piano method books, these inspired faculty are living examples of what a devoted music career looks like, with its endless variety of challenges for the head, hands, and heart.

Students and their parents who are seriously considering higher education in music have no better place to explore and to prepare than in the programs of the EYSO. Voluntary donations raised at this concert will support scholarships for qualified students, but the EYSO welcomes your support in many forms.  For more information, visit

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