By Kayla Reed
The end of the semester doesn’t just mean final exams are happening. It also means that the final performances of the semester are happening. This week, the students in Grand Rapids Community College’s music program are putting on a number of concerts that will be available to view for everyone. The GRCC Student Composers Concert was made available Wednesday, April 21, and the Spring Instrumental Concert is scheduled to open on Tuesday, April 27, next week. These are just two of the many concerts that will be available for viewers.
The GRCC Student Composers Concert is going to feature four students from the music program, Elijah Babinksi, Sarah Sizemore, Monte Davis, and Zachary Henderson. All four of them have written original compositions. Debora DeWitt and Jed Scott are two of the professors that helped put this concert together and have helped the students compose their songs.
Babinksi is a sophomore at GRCC, and he is going to be performing a few classical pieces that he wrote. Most of the music that he writes is written for ensembles, but because of the pandemic, it has been hard to bring together a group to play. Babinski has been writing his own music for over two years now, and it wasn’t his original plan to write music for college. After his first year at GRCC, he decided to explore composing more.
“What I love about composing is the aspect of creation. To be able to take something that doesn’t exist and breathe life into it is so fascinating to me,” said Babinski.
Sizemore is also a sophomore, and she mainly plays trombone. For the GRCC Student Composers concert, she has written a trombone sonatina with piano accompaniment. A sonatina is a shorter version of a sonata, and it is a style of music that dates back to the classical period. Sizemore also writes other pieces for different instruments, but because this piece is for trombone, she will be performing it. She has been writing music for fun since she was 14, but it was only this year that she was encouraged to pursue a career in composing.
To see the GRCC Student Composers Concert, tickets can be purchased through AnywhereSeat.com. Tickets are free, but donations are always welcome. If you cannot see it when it opens, it is pre-recorded, and it will be available to watch after the scheduled event time.
The following week, the Spring Instrumental Concert is going to go live. The Spring Instrumental Concert will feature all of the band and orchestra instruments. Some of the ensembles performing are going to be a guitar ensemble of seven students, college orchestra, concert band, a jazz quartet, jazz band, wind ensemble, and a saxophone quartet. Each group will be performing a variety of songs and styles of music, some of which include jazz, popular, classical, and symphonic.
The guitar ensemble will be playing the Festival Suite for Guitar Ensemble by James McGuire. It is a composition in five movements, and it is a jazz and pop styled piece. The guitar ensemble will also be playing music from Game of Thrones. The music from the tv show they will be playing is arranged by a GRCC music department faculty member, Jonathan Marshall.
The College orchestra will have instruments including violins, violas, cellos and keyboard. They will be performing “Concerto Grosso op 5 no. 5” by Thomaso Albinoni. They will also perform George Gershwin’s “Lullaby for String Orchestra.”
If you are interested in seeing this concert, it will also be available through AnywhereSeat.com. The event will open on Tuesday, April 27 at 7 p.m. Again, tickets are free, but donations are welcome. The event will be available after the scheduled event time, and it is pre-recorded.