On March 11, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. in the Carlson Theater Foyer, Dr. Brian Cobb and his students gathered for a night of musical performances for their “From the Chamber” series. With what started out as a handful of soloist performers, this series has over the academic year expanded to include a growing number of student ensembles.
This concert was to highlight the work and achievement of Bellevue College’s private instruction and music concentration students. From Mary Lovett’s performance of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Das Lebewohl, Op.81a, to Elysia Harjadi’s exhibition of Frederic Chopin’s Scherzo No.2, the audience took to their seats to then find themselves immersed in a marvelous display of talent.
Starting only last winter, the proposal for the “From the Chamber” series was initially formulated to give BC’s private instruction musicians an opportunity every quarter to perform in front of a live audience. Previously, these students had only the chance to conduct a final presentation of their work for the quarter in front of a jury of faculty.
“I think performing is one of the most important parts of music. You have an audience right there in front of you and can gauge their reaction to what you’re playing,” said student musician Al Freese, “If you’re recording in a studio you can go back and edit things whereas here performing requires a level of perfection where you can’t make mistakes… [and] if you do, you learn to recover very quickly. It forces you to stay sharp and think on your feet.”
Over the course of the academic year, the music program has gained a growing number of Running Start students, international students and new music concentration students whom before were not involved in performances.
“For several years I had many talented students in my theory classes and I just never heard any of them play music,” said Cobb, “this is an incredible opportunity for them.”
Cobb’s courses as well as the “From the Chamber” series allows students to come together to form a greater understanding of music, how it works and why it works the way it does. It allows students an opportunity to a perceive music in a different way, and as Cobb hopes, perhaps find a new love or open door that the student may have not thought of dreamed possible. The end goal of music program here at BC is to ready students for transfer to schools like the Berklee College of Music, University of Washington, Cornish, or Central Washington Universty.
“This quarter has been a huge eye opener for me musically; I used to be a hobbyist guitarist I would say,” said Jim Harrison, “I played with my guitar but I never actually played it. The work I’ve done this quarter has opened my eyes and my hands to my instrument and that’s been incredible.”