The University of Indianapolis will be hosting solo, duo and ensemble performances in the Ruth Lilly Performance Hall throughout April. According to senior music therapy major Danni Horn, the entire semester is used as preparation for these performances. A few of the performances featured include senior recitals, the African drum ensemble, the handbell ensemble, the wind ensemble, choir and more, according to Horn. Horn said the reason for participating in a performance differs for each student.
“We have a mixture of both [music majors and non-music majors] it really depends on the ensemble,” Horn said. “So for the recitals, that is all music majors. For most of them it is a requirement to do a recital or two. For the ensembles, we have a healthy mix of non-majors and majors. So they do it for their own enjoyment, and some have scholarships to be in ensembles. So it is partially a requirement to keep their scholarship intact. But some others just like to be a part of it.”
Jazz studies and music technology major Landen Howell said he will be performing in a jazz recital playing the saxophone. According to Howell, the performance features some music not typically heard in jazz and also some music he wrote himself. He said he will be accompanied with bass, drums and piano.
“Jazz studies is basically like a performance degree, so by your senior year you have to have an hour long recital,” Howell said. “You can really take full advantage of that opportunity.”
According to Horn, every performance will vary from each other and what to expect differs depending on which one you attend.
“For my recital, it is just singing and being accompanied by a pianist. For handbells we will use the handbells, and then for the African drum portion they have a plethora of African instruments that they use,” Horn said. “Then for the respective Latin, Jazz and Symphonic Wind Ensemble they have all their wind and brass instruments and percussion and things. For the Composers Forum it’s pretty much whatever students have composed that would be what the instrumentation is. So for me, it’s just an acapella duet, but others do piano or their primary instrument, whatever that might be. It is expected that it’ll be a lot of different things.”
According to Howell, the UIndy music department will be featuring chamber ensembles, which has not been done since before the COVID-19 pandemic. Howell said he is looking forward to the Composers Forum.
“What I hope to gain is, because I’ve been able to get some really good musicians, I want it to be a really big milestone in my performing career,” said Howell. “It’ll be my last recital. So probably one of my last concerts of my entire college career. It really means it’s pretty important to me, and showcases all the growth I’ve gone through since coming here … I think it’s a big deal and I’m really excited.”
Horn said that she hopes these concerts will bring the university community together and encourage support towards UIndy musicians. She said the music department has felt unrecognized by the community.
“I hope it brings a little bit of diversity to the campus, I think as the music department has altered over the years that we’ve all felt that the university as a whole, not just administration, but just as a community, don’t really care about us or set us on the sidelines,” Horn said. “So I really hope that as a community, we start to recognize the music makers through campus, and hopefully, that will come with a greater appreciation for what we do.”
Similarly, Howell said that he hopes the concerts give the university music program more recognition and bring in a larger audience. She said she thinks people are not aware of the music events happening.
“Coming from someone whose life really revolves around music right now, I feel like music in general at UIndy deserves more recognition and more support,” said Howell. “We’ve definitely had ups and downs, but I think the concerts are always really great experiences. It’s less about the concerts because the concerts have always been great … I think [the goal is] getting a lot more recognition.”