Friday Nights at the Keyboard

Adjunct Professor of Music Tom Gerber sat at the keyboard for a performance on Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m. in the Ruth Lilly Performance Hall of Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center. The event, titled “Friday Nights At the Keyboard: When Indiana Was Young: Bicentennial Edition,” celebrated Indiana’s 200th birthday with music from the early 18th century: the Baroque period in Europe and the time of New France and the Indiana Territory in North America.

Gerber’s performance included a wide variety of musical works by composers such as John Blow (1649-1708), Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764), and William Bryd (1540-1623). Gerber performed four pieces by Bach and Ramaeau combined. These pieces included Blow’s Morlake Ground, Bach’s Partita No. 2, in C minor, BWV 826 with movements including Sinfonia, Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Rondeaux and Capriccio, Rameau’s Nouvelles Suites de Pieces de Clavecin and Suite in G major/minor: Les Sauvages, Bach’s Partita No. 3, in A mior, BWV 827 with movements Fantasia, Allemande, Corrente, Sarabande, Burlesca, Scherzo and Gigue and Byrd’s My Lady Nevells Booke of Virginal Music: Qui Passe. Gerber explored the music that was prominent during the 18th century.

Since 1981, faculty and guests have performed together on Monday evenings in the Ruth Lilly Performance Hall. “When Indiana Was Young” separated itself from other concerts with its unique sound.

“A harpsichord recital is kind of a specialized thing,” said Director of Artistic Initiative and Professor of Music Richard Ratliff. “Not many people have been to a harpsichord recital, so the sound is a little unusual. The fact that it’s all music from the 17th and 18th centuries is a little unusual.”

One of Ratliff’s favorite pieces of the program includes the opening movement of Partita No.2 in C minor. “It’s one of those pieces that reaches out and grabs the listener,” he said.

According to Ratliff, this experience is rewarding for both the audience and the performers. It is a way for community members in the audience to get to see the performances firsthand, and for colleagues, professors and students, to have the opportunity to show the audience what they have learned as a musician at UIndy.

Sophomore Jacqueline Wiernicki enjoyed the performance. “I thought it was informational and gave a good background of Indiana’s history. As far as playing, I really liked Partitas No. 2 and No. 3 by Bach. I would say Dr. Gerber is a great harpsichordist.” These events offer L/P credit to UIndy students seeking the credit.

Following this performance will be a voice masterclass with Mitzi Westra on Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center.

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