By Delaney Hayden
On Friday, March 4, 2023, the Jazz Ensemble, Chorale and the Chamber Orchestra held the Festival of the Ensembles in the Montante Cultural Center at Canisius College.
According to Dr. Yvonne Widenor, a professor of art history at Canisius, the students of all three ensembles have practiced weekly since the beginning of the semester, preparing to share their musical talents with the audience. Widenor shared, “My work study students, Rowan Henaghen and Valeria Lee, and I prepare[d] posters, programs and work[ed] to promote the concert on social media, via Griffnet, and in ‘The Dome,’” she said. “Music and art history faculty also announce[d] these events in our classes in the hope that more students will attend and delight in the beauty of the music and enjoy their time in the ethereal space.” The advertising and preparation paid off as well: Even with snowy weather, over 80 people attended the performance.
Each ensemble showcased their unique interpretations of a wonderful array of pieces. In the Jazz Ensemble, guest musicians included David Kelly on the drums, and Mary DiCioccio on the bass, as well as Andy Ansehno '45 Music Scholarship Recipient, Jacob Fuhnnan, on the trumpets with Lucas Watson. Prior to the concert, Widenor reflected prior to the concert: “I think that Chorale's performance of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ will be a fan favorite. I am eager to hear ‘The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba’ from the Oratorio Solomon by George Frideric Handel that is to be performed by the Chamber Orchestra and ‘All The Things You Are’ by Jerome Kern an arrangement by Russell Scarbrough that will be a highlight of the Jazz Ensemble's contribution to the evening.” Widenor's predictions came to life that Friday night, as the members of all three ensembles played and sang harmoniously in a concert that left the audience in awe.
“Performing in front of an audience is a thrill for the performers,” she stated. “So I expect that is what motivated them to participate in these ensembles. Seeing the faces of family members, friends, classmates and members of the Canisius College community in [the] audience must make these concerts so special to them.”