Four musical combinations came together Thursday, Jun 21 for the Kaleidoscope of Styles concert as part of the ongoing 2018 Chamber Music Festival to create an array of music. The concert featured instrumentalists from wind to brass to strings played by experienced students and teachers.
A wind quintet comprised of Denissa Rivas de Munguía on flute, Julie Combs on oboe, Clayton Dunaway on clarinet, William Stacy on horn, and John Atteberry on bassoon began the concert on a lighthearted note. The group’s piece “Trois Pièces Brèves for Wind Quintet” by Ibert presented sections throughout accentuating each instruments’ unique style and sound.
“We played three short pieces … and it’s a really nice piece,” Atteberry said. “It really showcases woodwind sounds really well even though there’s a horn in it—you know, woodwind quintet has a horn—and it just has a particularly nice sound for woodwinds and horns.”
For many of the musicians featured in the night’s concert this was not their first time as part of the Chamber Music Festival. As for Atteberry and Dunaway, both musicians from Joplin, have performed with the festival multiple times and are pleasured for the opportunity to partake.
“It was awesome,” Dunaway said. “We were so happy to have Dr. Mungía invite us.”
Bright sounds of the flute followed the breezy woodwind quintet with a trio including Audrey Watson, Gwen Chevillard, and Denissa Rivas de Munguía. The three created a gentle and harmonious tune, which showcased each flutist’s prominent experience.
The trio performed “Trio in D Major Op. 13 for Three Flutes” by Khulau, which proved a lengthy piece to push the trio’s boundaries of strength and stamina.
A last minute addition followed in tune with the flutes’ last note, with a tuba solo performance by a recent UMKC graduate performing a piece originally composed for the cello adapted for the tuba. At the tuba’s last blow the concert was only at its halfway point as the final act took stage for an unexpected twist.
An ensemble featuring seven experienced musicians—Raúl Munguía, violin; Jonathan Lane, bass; Russell Jones, bassoon; Joanne Britz, clarinet; Robert Kehle, trombone; Matt Carter, trumpet; Michael Walker, percussions; Andrew Chybowski, conductor; John Ross, narrator; Garrett Wainscott, actor—brought forth through music and voice an in-depth, hour-long story with Stravinsky’s “L’Histoire du Soldat.” In introducing the emsemble, Chybowski called it a “full-scale theatrical … a big theatrical event for a small ensemble.”
Hannah Walker, audience member and Pittsburg community member, was one of the many blown away and taken aback by the ensemble’s performance.
“The Stravinsky piece was very intense,” Walker said. “I didn’t expect for it to be as theatrical as it was, but it had a really great storyline and it had a lot of surprising time signatures, so if you’re not familiar with it it was definitely surprising.”
Within the ensemble’s theatrical performance, the audience experienced the rises and pitfalls of one man’s forsaken journey of trade and loss.
Michael Walker, percussionist, described the ensemble’s piece as one of Stravinsky’s lesser-known musical creations.
“It’s called the (history of the soldier), I’m not horribly familiar with it, but it’s a really cool piece,” Michael said. “It has narrators and just a lot of really interesting time signatures for the players, and it’s just kind of a chamber piece, kind of one of Stravinsky’s smaller pieces that we don’t really hear very much. You hear ‘The Rite of Spring’ or ‘The Firebird Suite,’ those are really kind of smaller, kind of intimate sounds, it’s pretty cool.”
This year’s concert was also not Michael’s first as part of the Chamber Music Festival, though possibly one of his lasts with Pitt State.
“Actually, I played last year; I played a marimba solo,” he said. “… I just graduated here with my master’s in percussion, so they roped me into this again and it was a lot of fun. … It was interesting, I actually kind of got into it last minute and it’s a really kind of bizzare piece, but it’s really cool but it’s one that I’ve never actually played before. But it was a lot of fun. We put this together in about two rehearsals, so it was pretty quick.”
The Kaleidoscope of Styles concert, along with each concert comprised within the Chamber Music Festival, is a way to connect the community and University during the slower months of summer while sharing musical talents.
“Overall, it was fantastic,” said Hannah Walker. “I’m a strings player, so I don’t have a lot of experience with wind instruments, like all the flute pieces beforehand were really beautiful, all the wind instruments were phenomenal, and then that last piece was very intense, very theatrical.”
For Hannah Walker , though, this concert was more than just about community/campus involvement but also family ties.
“I mean, I just really love music,” she said. “I love that they do a lot of stuff just for the community to come and attend, and then my brother was also the main percussionist in the last piece so I got to come and support him as well.”
The concert also brought together musicians from various locations, experience levels, and ages within the area for the opportunity to play fresh and different music.
“Oh, a blast (to play),” Atteberry said. “Yeah, chamber music is a lot of fun and I don’t play very much through the course of the year—I play mostly orchestral music—and so a chance to play chamber music is a good time for me for sure and a pleasure to play with other musicians.
Each year’s summer festival provides the community with various forms of music, which is one aspect Michael Walker enjoys the most.
“I think (the Chamber Music Festival is) really cool, I think it’s a really great way to get some diverse music out to the area and really just kind of show everybody some interesting pieces they haven’t heard before,” he said.
As a former Pitt State educator, Hannah Walker has attended music events such as the Chamber Music Festival many times and said she attended other concerts from this year’s festival and plans to attend those coming up.
“… I try to get to every one that I can just because there’s a lot of events, which is great because it means if you can’t make one you can generally make another, so I’ve been trying to come … It was great, glad I made it.”