Rhapsody: A curated recital series presented by School of Music faculty

The School of Music is pleased to announce the “Rhapsody Series,” a free series of faculty recitals. In the spirit of a rhapsody, each performance is based on a specific theme, with the works on the program reflecting that core idea. These performances are shorter than a typical recital and do not involve an intermission, allowing the audience to experience an immersive hour of music without interruption. Each recital is performed by School of Music faculty and collaborators, and the inspirations for each program draw upon diverse influences and styles. Whether you are an avid concertgoer or new to performances from the School of Music, there truly is a concert for everyone!

Parking Information: Parking is available in the Nittany Deck
Directions to Recital Hall, Music Building I

Sundays at 4:00pm
School of Music Recital Hall – Music Building
Free and Open to the Public

9/10/23 – Then and Now: The School of Music voice area faculty will perform pieces that were significant early in their careers and new works that are currently inspiring them.

9/24/23 – Heroes and Legends: French Horn professor Sarah Schouten will perform works with soaring heroic lines, swashbuckling themes, and captivating rhythms by Elizabeth Raum, Shaynse Strickland, Dorothy Gates, James Naigus, and Justinian Tamusuza.

10/1/23 – The Lowest of the Low: How low can you go? This concert will feature the lowest-sounding instruments played by Penn State’s School of Music faculty. We hope we’re not in too deep!

10/8/23 – Figure and Form: Percussion professor Lee Hinkle will perform a recital of solo and chamber music for percussion featuring works by Juri Seo, Molly Joyce, and Anders Koppel, among others. The works by Seo (TLC for drum set and electronic drum controller) and Joyce (Figure and Form for solo vibraphone) were commissioned by Hinkle and a consortium of percussionists led by Emily Salgado titled “Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History.”

10/22/23 – Scenes and Stories: Join oboe professor Andreas Oeste and piano professor Melody Quah for an evening of chamber music centered on the idea of storytelling. Each piece on the program sets a different scene: vignettes on loneliness, anger, and other fraught emotions; a child’s unexpected request for fruit; and the age-old story of Good and Evil, influenced by West African beliefs of Orisha spirits. Featuring American composers Theresa Martin and Jeff Scott as well as British composer Thea Musgrave and French composer Gilles Silvestrini, it will be an exciting night of beauty, virtuosity, drama, and of course, some great stories.

10/29/23 Tricks and Treats! Violin professor James Lyon will perform a variety of works that have some kind of musical “trick” to them alongside works that are just a “treat” to hear. Selections include the famous Danse Macabre by Saint-Saëns, Obsession by Eugene Ysaÿe, a setting of Ferdinand the Bull for violin and narrator, and a work in which the violin imitates all kinds of animal sounds! Lyon will be assisted by Professor Melody Quah, piano, who will also perform a rendition of Chopin’s Funeral March, and harpsichordist, Professor Mark Ferraguto. Attendees are encouraged to come in costume. Bet you can’t wait!

1/21/24 – Goldberg Variations: Piano professor Melody Quah will perform Johann Sebastian Bach’s monumental Goldberg Variations. Beloved for its beauty, infamous for its technical demands, the Goldberg remains one of Bach’s most popular works. From its iconic opening aria through its thirty variations, listeners will be treated to a banquet of musical eloquence, invention, and virtuosity.

2/11/24 – Sounds of the Saxophone: Professor David Stambler presents a recital of classical music for saxophone including works by John Anthony Lennon, David Stambler, Bela Bartok, and more. With Kathy Cinatl, piano, and Jonathan Dexter, cello.

3/10/24 – Flute Music of Jewish Composers: Join professor Naomi Seidman for a recital of music from Jewish composers across the diaspora. Music selections include compositions by Aaron Copland, Shulamit Ran, Lex Van Delden, and Leo Smit. She will be joined by violinist Trevor Thompson, violist John Roxburgh, cellist Jon Dexter, and pianist Blair Salter.

3/24/24 – Romantic Extremes: Well-known and unknown, miniature and symphonic, beautiful and fun, profound and trivial — just a few of the character traits of the music you’ll hear at Professor Timothy Shafer’s solo piano recital of music by Romantic masters Johannes Brahms, Amy Beach, Franz Liszt, and Louis Moreau Gottschalk.

While the concerts will be livestreamed, we sincerely hope that you will attend in person to experience the full acoustic splendor our award-winning Recital Hall has to offer.