Stepping onto the stage of the Ruth Lilly Performance Hall, Assistant Professor of Music Joana Genova prepares to play. Her performance, as well as many others this semester, are all part of the Faculty Artist Concert Series at the University of Indianapolis.
The Faculty Artists Concert Series is a program spanning across the fall semester at the UIndy, according to a fact sheet provided by Genova. The series features live music performances from the Music Department faculty, including full-time faculty, adjunct professors and assistant professors, according to Genova. Each performance has taken place on Monday evenings in the Ruth Lilly Performance Hall as well as being broadcasted via Twitch livestream, according to UIndy Events.
Genova performed in the concert series on Nov. 9, playing the violin for pieces from composers Antonín Dvořák and Astor Piazzolla. According to Genova, it is important for faculty to perform in events like the concert series because it is a way of promoting the university as well as setting an example for students within the Music Department.
“There are so many other universities—Butler has concert series—and so do we, so it’s important to show what our music department is doing, just like the theater department has productions, and also the students who study music with all of us, they have to put on their own recitals,” Genova said. “So we all have to do it. If you’re in the art department, you have to make a sculpture or painting and you go to the exhibit in the gallery. So this is our way of exhibiting what we do as musicians.”
Adjunct Professor of Music Marko Petričić performed on Nov. 16, playing the bayan accordion in a set focusing on Johann Sebastian Bach, jazz and blues music. Petričić said the concert series is a great community outreach program because the program features more than just faculty performers and the events are free to the public.
“[Students] learn something about the music, about the repertoire that they may or may not play, but they widen their scope into different musical eras and repertoire, different instruments, different performers … ” Petričić said. “And it’s also nice for us too, for the faculty, for performers and guests to get together to play some new music and to experience some great music making together”
Assistant Professor of Music Ryan Behan performed alongside Genova in a piano trio on Nov. 9, according to the fact sheet. He said that attendance for the concert series, despite COVID-19, has been very high due to livestreaming capabilities. According to Behan, the attendance displays there is still a desire for live music, and this series allows people to continue attending concerts, even though it is virtual.
“At the end of the day, [music is] about communication,” Behan said. “I think after COVID[-19] is over, I think everybody will appreciate it even more. Technology has been advancing much faster than our ability to cope with it. And I think people will realize that experiencing life behind a screen and not interacting with other people is unnatural to the human experience.”
According to Genova, while she does miss being able to see fans of the concert series because of limited in-person attendance, she still stresses the importance of watching the performances via livestream.
“There is such a huge variety of repertoire we are offering that everybody should give it a chance,” Genova said. “It’s not just for people within the music department, it’s really for the whole university and you will find something for yourself, I guarantee you. And also with all the people we work with, we put our hearts and souls in those performances. All of the professors, we care about performing and bringing this music to life. And we need many people to be there because we do it for living people, not just for ourselves.”