The end of the semester may be hard on students. But for people who like to see or hear the fruits of student labor,this is the best time of year.
I've been going to a rash of student recitals at Fort Lewis College. In the last two weeks, I've heard everything
except standard, ho-hum repertoire. For example, at Danielle Hulsmann's senior recital, she played a suite, sonata and
a divertissement for her chosen instrument - the tuba. The concert included some jazz and two whimsical works that
Hulsmann played with her colleagues from the FLC Brass Ensemble.
A few days earlier, clarinetist Michael Bocim gave his junior recital. He made Bartók's Romanian Folk Dances sound
playful and easy. Brahms' Sonata No. 2, masterfully accompanied by Kathy Olinger, demanded a higher level of technique
and a different style of playing. Easy. For a finale, Bocim played Artie Shaw's Concerto for Clarinet. Accompanied by
pianist Jack Maynes and percussionist Neil Hemphill, Bocim and company opened big and then comfortably jumped into
jazzy sections, boogie woogie and riffs that suggested the dark whimsy of klezmer music.
Artie Shaw's centenary happens to be this year. Arthur Jacob Arshawsky was born May 23, 1910, and lived a long,colorful life. As a teenager growing up in New York City and Connecticut, he encountered his share of anti-Semitism. He
changed his name as a young man and became a gifted musician, a leading jazz clarinetist and big band director. During
World War II, he led the U.S. Navy Band. A man of apparent endless energy and ability, he plunged in and out of the
world of music, performed classical concerti with major orchestras, wrote a lot of music on his own and conducted a
busy social life. He married eight times, numbering among his wives Hollywood glamour girls Lana Turner and Ava
Toward the end of Shaw's life (he died Dec. 30, 2004), the jazz trumpeter Winston Marsalis met him and said: This
man's got some history."
Bocim's presentation of the Shaw Clarinet Concerto was some kind of first at Fort Lewis. Bocim played the 10-minute
work with flair, bending notes to suggest the jazzy moan of a human voice. He slid into and out of glissandos as if
they were silk slides. The FLC trio captured Shaw's multimusical spirit, and the students clearly had fun doing so.
Bocim even nailed a high C at the end - and made it sound easy.
There's another anniversary recital, the Chopin Year concert, put on by FLC piano majors at 7 p.m. today in Roshong
The student recitals are free; the ensemble concerts cost $5. Faculty recitals and professional guest artists usually
Judith Reynolds is a Durango writer, artist and critic. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.