Review: Now Hear This
By Jennifer Clogg, Staff Writer
The room is abuzz. Everyone is chatting. The chatter is subdued, but clearly brimming with silent excitement for the upcoming hour of performances. Tess Fernald walks out on stage, and the room instantly falls noiseless. Before I continue, I should mention that classical music does not usually strike my fancy, but what followed was not a performance of classical pieces; it was a wave of emotion that grabbed the audience, wrapped them up, and stole their hearts in the form of classical songs.
For the next hour, I listened to the wonder of music created by Tess Fernald, Jenna Pavis, Samuel VanFossen, and Rose Martus. Tess Fernald and Rose Martus played flute, while Jenna Pavis rocked out on alto sax and Samuel VanFossen sang a heart-wrenching opera piece. For the following hour, my incredibly busy week fell away. I had no cares except for the beautiful music being performed before me and was shocked at how quickly an hour of performances flew by.
What most people don’t know is that these wonderful performances, a way to relax and unwind from a busy week, are held every Friday from 3-4pm in Schmucker. The performers are all of those majoring in music, or who are registered for private study of music through the Conservatory. Anyone who attends Gettysburg is allowed to come and watch the performances.
I most enjoyed watching each performer get into their pieces in their own unique ways. The three women rocked in tempo to their pieces, leaned deep into the music, and clearly got lost in the intensity of the numbers; Samuel VanFossen, on the other hand, looked far out over the eyes of the crowds, lost in the emotion of the operatic piece. On the front page of the program was a translation of the words that he sang, which talked of a beautiful love long dreamt of but out of the singer’s reach. I’ve never heard an opera singer in person before, so one can imagine it was quite shocking and awesome as a first experience.
All of the performers are the best of the best, the most talented in their areas, so it was a great honor to hear them all perform. I highly recommend taking your next non-busy Friday afternoon off, just for an hour, to hear some of the best music there is. It will settle your heart, relax your mind, and satisfy your soul. We live in an age where everything has to be technology-based, and has to equal instant, temporary gratification. Take an hour to reap the benefits of something that will satisfy you internally for much longer than the hour that the performances last.