The Department of Music at The College of New Jersey is hitting all the right notes this semester with the launch of its exciting new Faculty Artist Recital Series. Featuring an array of renowned musicians from TCNJ’s very own music faculty, this series promises to be a harmonious treat for all.
The series kicks off tonight, Friday, Sept. 8, with a captivating performance by the José Beviá Trio, featuring the college’s very own Adjunct Instructor of Music Theory José Beviá. The performance will start at 7:30 p.m. in Mayo Concert Hall.
The new series is unique because while many students have the honor to learn from these musicians firsthand, it’s rare that they are able to showcase their talent onstage at TCNJ.
“We, as a faculty, wanted to cultivate a series that had representation from all areas within the department,” said Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music Eric Laprade.
This year’s lineup spans a variety of jazz, wind, brass, vocal and string performances.
Adjunct Instructor of Oboe Mark Snyder, a prizewinner of the Artists International Competition, will grace the stage on Dec. 1, while Assistant Professor of Voice and Coordinator of Vocal Studies Brandi Diggs, will perform on Feb. 2.
“My work centers upon how the programming of African American Art Song alleviates racial trauma within Black singers,” Diggs said.
For her performance, Diggs will present a mixture of traditional and contemporary repertoire. Audience members can expect to hear some classical pieces from Mozart, Debussy and possibly Schumann or Strauss. In terms of current music, she will be championing Black music and Black composers.
The series also highlights the internationally renowned Newman & Oltman Guitar Duo, which features Adjunct Instructor of Guitar Michael Newman. Known for their mesmerizing guitar performances and described as a “revelation to hear” by The Washington Post, they will close the series on April 5.
“There’s definitely a learning element for our music students. There’s something humanizing about our students, who are performers, seeing our faculty perform as well,” explained Laprade about the series..
Diggs added, “It’s very important that performing educators, do both equally. Teaching takes a lot of time away from practice and preparation, but it’s important that we do both because one informs the other.”
The Faculty Artist Recital Series is not just for students but is open to the entire TCNJ community, including faculty, alumni, and the local community. “They should be enjoyable evenings and a great way to end the week since they are all on Fridays,” Laprade added.
As the series debuts this semester, the hope is for it to become an annual tradition, with a rotating roster of faculty performers, offering the TCNJ community an opportunity to experience the incredible talent of its music faculty.
To reserve your seats, visit the TCNJ Center for the Arts Box Office.
– Riley Eisenbeil ’24