On Friday, Sept. 15, music lovers of all kinds gathered in the Grand Soldiers Ballroom of the Carnegie Hotel to hear a Faculty Gala, put on by the members of the Department of Music.
The Faculty Gala was held in a spacious room with the seating focused on the front of the room where a piano sat center stage. The musicians not playing on the piano would stand center stage with all attention focused on them.
“I’m looking forward to hearing a combination of all the different types of music that the faculty teaches, I guess from bluegrass to classic,” audience member Norma Jean Cannon said.
While there was not any bluegrass music in the program, there was a wide variety of classical music, with traditional pieces such as Divertimento No. 7 by Johann Michael Hayden to more modern pieces such as Dreamscape by Alyssa Morris.
“Essentially, this is kind of an opportunity for us to show off the diversity of the department,” performer and oboe professor Heather Killmeyer said. “The music department always has needs that far exceeds its budget. There are many many things that we need: we always need more music, we always need more instruments, we always need up grades to our facilities, that sort of thing.”
Benjamin Dawson is a violinist who performed at the gala who played a traditional piece of classical music that night. “Tonight I’ll be performing a short piece from the Romantic Era by a Russian composer. I actually know nothing about him except that he wrote a very nice piece, Felix Boroski is his name; it’s for violin. I practiced this piece for about four minutes because I had played it before.”
To organize the event, department members like Alan Stevens had to work with the Carnegie to set up a space to perform. The department arranged for a piano to be brought in.
Overall the audience enjoyed the many pieces that the music department had performed for the evening, including students like Olivia Phillips.
“As a music student who is constantly working under the direction of these professionals, it just means a lot to be able to see them put into practice the great things they’ve been teaching us, kind of an extra motivator,” Phillips said.
The gala was held to raise money and awareness for the ETSU Music Department.