SDSU Brass toot their own horn

by Teresa Monaco

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Have you ever heard the call of a trumpet from somewhere around San Diego State’s music building? These aspiring young musicians are anything but bashful about their playing, regardless of whether it’s outdoors or indoors.

On Friday, Feb. 28 at 12 p.m I attended the first of two Brass Division Recitals this semester at SDSU. As a requirement for all music majors, the division recital is an opportunity for musicians to gain important performance experience. In this recital, four students studying various brass instruments performed solo pieces accompanied by piano.

The first performer of the afternoon was SDSU music junior Kody Knode on trumpet. His rendition of Kent Kennan’s “Sonata for Trumpet and Piano” was commendable. Although the term “sonata” refers to several different musical situations, in this context it is a solo piece for one instrument accompanied by piano. Knode’s choice of music was interesting as it was considerably more contemporary than the rest of the pieces performed during the recital. Knode and his piano accompanist Maria Didur traded off moving lines nicely, as a sonata lends itself to equal involvement in both the piano and instrumental parts. Overall, it was a pleasantly musical rendition, complete with musical expression and dynamic contrast from a well-dressed Knode.

Music education junior Honseng Tu stole the show on the tuba, the last instrument anyone would expect to be a show-stopper. Although it’s often overlooked, the tuba is a beautiful instrument with a wide range of musical color. Tu’s performance of the first movement of “Concerto for Tuba” by Bruce Broughton was fun and playful, shedding light on the instrument’s more lively qualities.

Although tall in stature, Tu had to sit on a chair because of the sheer size of the tuba. Didur’s piano accompaniment was reminiscent of a galloping horse, adding to the humor of the piece—I couldn’t help but grin. Tu’s performance of the piece demonstrated tremendous technical ability as well as musicality, and the lighthearted nature of the movement made me want to listen to the rest of the concerto. Any composer that can make the tuba sound “cute” is worth listening to.

Knode, Tu and the other students put on a respectable performance at their division recital. As the School of Music and Dance at SDSU continues to make its name known, its students are following suit by stepping up their game.

Also read: Teagan Taylor Trio charms jazz fans

Photo courtesy of Ken Jacques

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