Chandler Recital Hall at Old Dominion University

Unexpected job perks are the best. In most offices this means free pizza every once in a while, a day off for your birthday, or maybe a candy dish at the front desk. My awesome job perk attending the occasional music performance (very occasional and very appreciated). With the semester coming to a close, the Diehn School of music holds hour long performances by students. This is a wonderful way to showcase the incredible strides made by the talented performers during the semester.

As I walk into the Chandler Recital Hall, I hear faint notes from a flute emanating behind a hidden door. Though muffled, the sound fills the intimate space of the hall. The program begins with an original piece by composition student Kyle Russo called The Whole-Story Suite, Movement III. Piano, alto saxophone, and drums, accompany Russo on the electric bass. The movement was an upbeat jazz piece with darker tones emerging, I truly hope I’m able to hear Mr. Russo’s entire suite very soon! It was incredible.

Following the Suite, was student performer Jose Rodgiguez on the trombone playing Morceau de Concours Op. 57. I have never heard trombone played as a solo instrument and was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it alone. Pianist Lawrence Halsey played a beautiful rendition of Intermezzo in A Major Op. 118, No. 2. No lie, I got chills. Bethany Bunch on viola was up next playing Cello Suite No. 4 in E-flat Major by Bach. Actually, a favorite of mine and I loved witnessing her take on the piece.

Lawrence Halsey on piano

After this was a pairing off of cellos and flutes. First was cellist Lexi McGinn playing Bourree, it was playful and gorgeous sounding. I felt like I was witnessing a professional in the making. Avery Suhay was the next cellist performing Etude No. 22 by David Popper. All I can say is…breathtaking.

Lexi McGinn on cello
Avery Suhay on cello

The flutes started off with a stunning performance by Selena Speck playing Sonatine by Eldin Burton. A beautiful flute duet followed, with student’s Emily Wolcott and Rachel Feit playing Sonata in C Minor. Consequently making me wonder why I gave up playing the flute in sixth grade…wait I know…I was terrible. Luckily, I can still appreciate the wonderful music they produced together. The last flute, but certainly not least, performance was by Jonathan Carr. Absolutely gorgeous rendition of Sicilliene by Gabriel Faure.

Jonathan Carr on flute

Closing the concert was Kevin Koelzer playing Hide and Seek, Blind Alley and Departure by Yasutoshi Watanbe on guitar. Each piece was soft and melodic, a perfect way to end the hour.

Kevin Koelzer on Guitar

The Student Performance Hour was a lovely experience and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to attend. Sure there were a few sour notes here, or there, perhaps a false start and getting lost at points; nerves get the best of us sometimes. Yet, I can say without a doubt, ODU has extremely talented pool of music majors. I’m definitely looking forward to the program next semester!

Click HERE to view the full performance calendar for the Diehn School of Music.