By Samia Afsar
As BC students rushed to and from classes, the Composers’ Collective gathered music lovers to its first in-person concert following a two-year pandemic hiatus. Bordered between the glass walls of the Claire Tow Center, the Collective performed on Monday, Nov. 7 in the lobby of the building for a memorable afternoon of original pieces composed by the student members themselves.
The event opened with a welcome address by the club’s president, Gidong Kim, who thanked the patrons for attending the Collective’s first in-person concert since COVID struck. Emmanuel Ortiz, the club’s treasurer, then took the make-shift stage to present the closing piece from an original murder-suspense musical he has been constructing. Being the final piece from his musical, Ortiz’s composition did not illustrate the thrilling melody you would typically expect from a murder-suspense story. Instead, it beautifully exhibited tunes traditionally parallel to redemption, relief, and reassurance.
Theodore Mankiewicz, a baritone, followed immediately after with two vocal performances while being accompanied by Maxwell Hinton on the piano. His first, a setting of French poet Paul Verlaine’s “Colloque Sentimental,” and the second being an original composition entitled “The Rain,” which was about the desperation that springs from unreciprocated love. Standing with his shoulders back and his hand oftentimes resting on his heart, passion oozed from Mankiewicz’s performance as he delivered powerful storytelling through song. As a baritone with a full, rich voice, Makiewicz’s song vibrated off the walls as he rhythmically held each note; keeping the audience’s focus even when disrupted by the sounds of a vacuum cleaner.
Kim took the stage next to present his composition “Boundless love.” Accompanied by soprano Zoe Gao, Kim balletically played the piano as each note paired beautifully, syncing almost magnetically to his vocal accompaniment.
Kim’s set marked the end of the event’s vocal performances with the second half of the show presenting original instrumental compositions. The first of these compositions was Samer Chiaviello’s “Rift.” Accompanied by an upbeat audio playback, Chiaviello played the violin, constructing an audibly captivating twist on the classical instrument.
Similarly, Douglas Hertz’s piece, “Formerly Busy Place,” was also accompanied by an audio playback as he played the piano. Being a quite lighthearted, almost dreamy piece, there was a familiar sense of comfort and nostalgia that radiated from his composition, much like that of a forgotten dream or fading memory, which entrapped much of the room.
Jesse McFadden followed immediately after to present his electronic composition which he showcased earlier this semester at the 32nd Bi-Annual Electroacoustic Concert. Needless to say, McFadden’s performance is one that uplifts the entire room with listeners involuntarily nodding their heads to each beat, creating a sea of satisfied patrons who could feel his music in their bones.
Zhi Chen was the last to perform, showcasing a jazz composition he and his friends composed together entitled “ Lots of B’s.” While playing the vibraphone, Chen was accompanied by his friends on the trumpet, piano, electric bass, and drums. Capturing the pure essence of jazz, the band started off with an exuberant, upbeat melody before each member exhibited a solo with much encouragement from Chen, who gestured for the audience to clap for each band member as they played their instrument.
As the concert came to a close, Kim thanked the audience members once more for attending the Composers’ Collective “comeback.” The Collective will captivate listeners again in the spring with another show.