The Hillsdale College Department of Music will host two faculty recitals Sept. 7 and Sept. 9. The first recital will feature Professor of Music Melissa Knecht on the viola, Lecturer in Music Amy Ley on the harp, Lecturer in Music Jaimie Wagner on the flute, and Adjunct Professor of Music Katherine Rick on the piano. The second recital will be a solo recital, featuring Daniel Tacke, associate professor of music, on the harpsichord.
The theme of the first recital is “Submerged.” Knecht chose this title due to the combination of instruments and choice of music.
“It’s music that is very atmospheric,” Knecht said. “You’ll find an interesting combination that a lot of composers like by using the combination of the darker sound of viola and the [lighter sound of the] flute and then the harp. It’s a great color combination.”
Rick will be playing a solo piece, as well as a duo with Wagner. Rick has played the piano since she was six and, motivated by sibling rivalry, began playing the piano. Since then, she has stuck with music. Now at Hillsdale, she expresses her love for what she does.
“I love my job here at Hillsdale and being able to work with awesome students,” Rick said. “Accompanying both faculty and students for all kinds of recitals, being on stage constantly, it’s a lot of fun.”
Tacke will be taking a different route for his solo recital. Rather than choose an instrument that most people are familiar with, Tacke will play two pieces for the harpsichord. Tacke has selected pieces specifically written for the harpsichord by Jean-Philippe Rameau and Johann Sebastian Bach.
“They are very similar in terms of their chronology but also very different,” Tacke said. “One thing I attribute to them is they will showcase the instruments in really different ways.”
Growing up, Tacke had played keyboard instruments, but picked up the harpsichord in graduate school. Since then, it has been his primary instrument.
Tacke hopes to showcase the idiosyncrasies of the instrument, in comparison with the piano. Tacke even mentioned the two pieces will contrast the different elements of the instrument.
“The instrument has its own unique beauty, all kinds of unique problems that come with beauty,” Tacke said. “The potential for expression that the instrument offers is very different. I try and choose repertoire that are going to draw out those distinctions.”
Tacke said he endeavors to make the harpsichord accessible to his audience.
“One of the interesting things is learning to navigate the idiosyncrasies,” Tacke said. “Learning to make the thing sing and be expressive despite some things about it that are kind of bristly.”
According to Knecht, music contributes to Hillsdale’s pursuit of beauty in a special way.
“It’s like a nonverbal understanding of the beauty of God in a different way,” Knecht said.
The first performance will be at 8 p.m. in the Markel Auditorium followed by the second performance at 3 p.m. in Conrad Recital Hall.