By Modjina Ovil
Those who are turned off by modern classical music may change their minds after attending the next Westminster Conservatory faculty recital.
Flutists Ellen Fisher-Deerberg and Kevin Willois with pianist Ryan Brechmacher will perform in “Roses and Chocolates: 20th and 21st Century Confections for Two Flutes,” on Oct. 11 in Bristol Chapel on the Westminster Choir College campus.
“For the people who shy away from contemporary music, this program will show them that contemporary music is not necessarily atonal, or harsh, or difficult to understand. It can be tonal, romantic, jazzy, upbeat, lyrical, beautiful and uplifting,” Fisher-Deerberg said.
This is just one of many performances offered by faculty and students on both campuses, according to Anne Sears, director of external affairs for Westminster.
Ellen Fisher-Deerberg described the inspiration behind the upcoming event.
“I initially put in my proposal for a Valentine’s Day concert, hence the Roses and Chocolates title,” she said. “However, the office decided that Oct. 11 would be my date, but the title was catchy enough to stick.”
Willois, Fisher-Deerberg and Brechmacher share a great bond, and are inspired by the growth of their friendship.
“We love to play, and we are loving working together,” Fisher-Deerberg said. “Kevin and I find it easy to play together, and from the very start, when we added Ryan on piano, it was just magical. The joy of playing is what motivates us; it is nothing but sheer fun.”
Although Fisher-Deerberg finds happiness in playing the flute, she noted that it is no laughing matter.
“When someone asks, ‘Do you play an instrument?’ you don’t answer, ‘I practice flute.’ You say, ‘I play the flute,’” she said. “It’s serious work, it’s hard work, it makes you tired and sometimes a wee bit cranky, but when you get together with your peers and play marvelous music such as what we are doing for this concert, it’s totally fun.”
As with all events, a lot of work goes into ensuring that everything operates according to plan.
“Preparing a concert like this can take up all of your time, not only for practice, but for things like stage management, figuring out how to record it, putting together program notes, and for me, figuring out what I would like to wear,” Fisher-Deerberg said.
“For some of us, ladies in particular, we like to coordinate our concert attire to fit in with the music that we are presenting.”
The performers are extremely passionate in what they do and are looking forward to presenting their talent to their audiences.
They also encourage students to pursue their musical interests, even if they eventually work in another field.
“I’ve always found that musicians are friendly, easy to get along with and it’s easier to find a group of friends to hang out with if you have a whole orchestra or band to choose from,” said Fisher-Deerberg. “Just because you have a full time job outside of music doesn’t mean that you can’t play anymore. Don’t let it go.”