Chamber Music Class to Produce April 5 Concert at Old Christ Church

Pensacola – Music education and music performance majors at The University of West Florida must take a class called “Chamber Music Coaching.”

“Students learn how to play with each other, how to teach groups, how to critique and how to select repertoire to put together concerts,” said Dr. Hedi Salanki-Rubardt, distinguished professor and director of piano and chamber music at UWF, who teaches the class.

Once a month, the class presents a concert at Old Christ Church in Historic Downtown Pensacola at 405 South Adams St. This is the 15th year that the chamber music class has produced the concert series.

The last concert of this season is at noon Wednesday, April 5.

Producing a concert in four weeks is a great challenge for future professional musicians who are going to be working with different groups and teaching, Salanki-Rubardt said.

“What’s wonderful is that for the last 15 years we have built an audience,” she said. “We have a big group following us, so performing at the church is a privilege.”

The class includes about 15 students. They meet once a week in the Music Hall on the UWF Pensacola Campus to perform, and Dr. Salanki-Rubardt provides instruction. They offer critiques as they prepare for their monthly appearance at Old Christ Church, which does include some solos.

“I like the performance experience and the fact that I can perform in front of an audience of peers and get peer reviews before performing in public,” said Vivienne Boudreaux, a junior who is a music performance major.

Boudreaux will perform a piece on the marimba during the April 5 concert. Astor Piazzolla composed the piece, and Eric Sammut transcribed it for marimba. It is called “Libertango.”

“Definitely the chance to collaborate with other students and the opportunity to perform at the church are advantages of the chamber music class,” said John Powell Jr.

Powell is a senior who is majoring in music performance and specializes in playing the violin.

George Phillips, a senior who is pursuing a double major in music performance and art administration, agreed with Boudreaux and Powell about the advantages of the chamber music class.

“The fast pace of this class is really important because as a professional musician you have to be ready to perform at a moment’s notice,” Phillips said. “If someone asks you to perform a piece, you always say ‘yes’ and find a way to get it done. This class is the ultimate preparation for that.”

The concert on April 5 is called “Spring is Here.” Musicians from the class will present the repertoire they mastered during this last term. The pieces range from jazz to classical, and many students will focus on arias from Mozart’s opera “Bastien und Bastienne.”

The concert is free and open to the public, with no tickets required. For more information, call the music office at the Center for Fine and Performing Arts at 850.474.2147.