Ten-member chamber ensemble from OSU preps for free concert at Albany library
Classical music swirled inside Oregon State University’s Benton Hall as a chamber ensemble rehearsed George Enescu’s “Dixtour.”
The piece is something akin to a musical game of tennis, with players volleying the melody back and forth.
“And ... oboe,” said Chris Chapman, OSU director of bands, as he gestured to Joanna Gunderson. The OSU junior took over the lead line with a phrase that could induce sighs.
The OSU Chamber Winds, a 10-member group, are the best of the best of local music students.
And at 7 p.m. Feb. 22, they’ll be playing a free concert at the Albany Public Library, 2450 14th Ave. S.E.
The event was created by Albany resident Joe Kruger, a retired construction superintendent. Back in the 1970s, before switching careers, Kruger was a professional classical musician in Los Angeles.
“I went from playing a horn to pounding nails, but I never lost my love of music,” Kruger said.
“I thought, ‘It sure would be nice if there was some chamber music in Albany,’” he added.
Chamber music is a vastly different experience from an orchestra in that, with a small group and a small venue, there’s a sort of direct musical connection going on, Kruger said.
After all, the audience can look the musicians in the eyes, and it’s easier to get the feeling of shivers running down your spine from a beautifully played line.
“It’s so personal,” Kruger said.
If the concert is well attended, Kruger said more chamber performances are likely for Albany. Some concerts are already in the planning stages.
Many of the OSU Chamber Winds members haven’t performed in public as part of a small ensemble before.
“It pushes you and makes you better, fast. You have to play like you’re a soloist,” said Randy Solansky, a senior clarinetist.
“It’s a whole new level of technique,” said Annie Pasquinelli, a senior oboe player.
She added that being part of the talented ensemble was “chill,” however.
Gunderson agreed. “I’m playing with all my friends,” she explained.
The OSU Chamber Winds also will perform the Schubert Wind Octet at the performance, under the direction of master’s student Adam Campagna.
Campagna, a teacher from Kingston, Wash., is on a year-long leave of absence from his job to study under Chapman.
Chapman lives in Albany and said it was great to bring OSU to his hometown.
“We’re trying to take this group and get them out. ... Not many people know how good our band program is,” Chapman said, as Campagna led the rehearsal.
“Listen to that,” Chapman said. “That’s a professional sound. That doesn’t happen very often.”