Soren Franz / Senior Photographer

Cristian Valentin

Equinox Staff

On Wednesday, March 7, the Keene State College Music Department presented the 18th Annual Faculty Composers Recital in the Redfern Arts Center.

The show featured many different faculty members such as Jose Manuel Lezcano, James Sharrock, Craig Sylvern, Christopher Swist and more who performed original works on various instruments. Keene State Alum Mike Dillon enjoyed this variety very much and said that it was his favorite part of the show.

One of the more popular parts of the event was Ted Mann playing “O Nata Lux de Lumine” on guitar and electronics. Mann described this piece as “fairly meditative, with a couple surprises.” Audience member Eve Kodiac enjoyed this part in particular, saying, “My favorite part of the show was the electric guitar and the marimba solos.”

After this was “Swallowtail Suite,” written by Heather Gilligan and performed by Robin Matathias on flute, Craig Sylvern on clarinet, and Rebecca Hartka on cello. The act had two parts to it, with part one being “Sarabande for a Chrysalis” and part two being “Butterfly Gigue.” Before the performance, Gilligan talked about her inspiration behind it, saying, “A lot of my music has a part of nature in it.”

James Sharrock and Jose Manuel Lezcano opened the show with “Recollections for English Horn and Guitar,” written by Lezcano. The performance contained three different parts: “El Rosal; Rapsodico,”  “Acida y Lenta; Andante espressivo” and “Zamba y Fugato.” James Sharrock was on English horn and Jose Manuel Lezcano was on guitar.

The next performance was “How Does One Transcend Magic?” performed by the KSC Chamber Singers. Craig Sylvern wrote the song, and Sandra Howard directed it. The KSC Chamber Singers includes Emily McIntyre, Laurel Mendelsohn, Breahna Jenkins, Sarah Ames, Samantha Ducharme, Jayce Barone, Kaiya Idler, Erin Savoy, Hattie Skvorak, Kacie Palmacci, Corinne Colgrove, Hannah Love, Tyler Martin and Kat Neary.

Christopher Swist then performed “Streamline” on marimba, a piece he wrote in 1996 that “The Instrumentalist” magazine said “should become a part of contemporary four-mallet marimba repertoire.” According to Swist, “The piece will aid a student in building endurance, in strengthening the use of the inner mallets, and in developing a broad sense of dynamic contour.”

Swist also performed the East Coast premiere of his new marimba solo “Standing Wave.” He said this piece “Reflects my obsession with acoustics” and it is different from his other solo because it fully utilizes the marimba in a way that he could not when he wrote “Streamline” due to the marimba being “in its infancy” at the time.

The show closed with “A Children’s Hallowed Eve” on piano by Timothy Rogers. The four parts of the work were “Adagio/ Andante” (Treating), “Adagio” (Cemetery Walk), “Moderato” (Waltzing Ghosts), and “Allegro” (The Chase and Grave-ward March). Rogers said that this was “Inspired by many happy memories I’ve had with my four children.”

The recital ran for about an hour and a half in the Redfern Recital Hall with attendance from students, alumni, faculty members and family of the performers. The faculty members were very proud to perform this show together; Mann called it “An honor to play alongside my colleagues.”

Cristian Valentin can be contacted at

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