Posting Date: March 16, 2009
Eighth blackbird master class a success
By Jarmea Boone
The Grammy Award-winning music ensemble eighth blackbird
On February 6, the Grammy award-winning new music ensemble eighth blackbird spent the day in residence with students from Kennesaw State University's School of Music in the Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center. The ensemble was joined by Alex Ross, veteran music critic of The New Yorker and MacArthur Foundation Fellow, for a day of instruction, discussions and music demonstrations.
The day's events included a master class held by eighth blackbird where four KSU music students performed in front of an audience and then received critique and hands-on instruction by members of the ensemble. The students who participated saw this as an opportunity for exclusive insight into the professional music world.
"All of their tips really helped to change my approach to working on a piece of music like the Rachmaninoff Vocalise that I played," said student violinist Adam von Housen. "It was interesting to hear their interpretations of it. Hearing multiple opinions really helps me to understand a piece more and to be able to make that piece 'my own,' which is what both Helen Kim, assistant professor of violin, and the members of eighth blackbird stressed."
Pianist Brett Carson shared this excitement. "It was fascinating and beneficial to work with professional musicians of their caliber," he said. "It was enlightening to be able to talk with such authority about such artists as Beethoven."
Eighth blackbird performed their program entitled, "The Only Moving Thing," on February 7 in the Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center, preceded by a pre-concert lecture on the program's repertoire given by Alex Ross.