The Howard Performing Arts Center debuted its “Howard Center Presents…” series on Sept. 17, graced by the classical selections performed by Andrews University faculty members Carla Trynchuk (Professor of Music, Violin; String Area Coordinator) and Chi Yong Yun (Assistant Professor; Piano Area Coordinator). Carla Trynchuk has performed with numerous philharmonic orchestras as a soloist and recitalist, taught highly successful musicians and served as a judge for music competitions throughout the United States and Canada. Chi Yong Yun is a brilliant pianist who has performed internationally as a recitalist and collaborative musician. She has taught nationally and internationally and serves as an adjudicator for piano competitions in the U.S.
The concert began with “Sonata No. 1 in G Major, Op. 78” by Johannes Brahms. It was beautifully interpreted and each movement conveyed a different mood: happy but thoughtful transitioned into a smooth, soothing melody line. The second piece, Jean Sibelius’ “Souvenir, Op. 79, No. 1” was more mournful and slow, almost suspenseful. Souvenir means “memory” in French. The piece peaked in ecstasy with superbly executed high notes on the violin and then swooped into a thoughtful, suspenseful finish. It seemed very fitting for un souvenir.
An unexpected pause occurred in the middle of the program when the electronic sheet music device did not work as planned. "Technology is great when it works!" commented Trynchuk from the stage. The audience laughed in agreement.
The next two songs, Henryk Wieniawski’s “Capriccio-valse in E Major, Op. 7” and Clarence Cameron White’s “Levée Dance, Op. 27, No. 4” were whimsical and fun, as if representing butterflies flitting through a meadow. Throughout “Levée Dance” trills and grace notes on the piano were accompanied by strong double stops on the violin.
Trynchuk and Yun performed four songs in the first half of the program. The short intermission was followed by Gabriel Fauré's brilliantly composed Sonata No. 1 in A Major.
In 1877 this sonata was spoken very highly of in the Journal de Musique by Fauré’s mentor and friend, Camille Saint-Saëns: “This sonata has everything that will seduce the gourmet: novel forms, exquisite modulations, uncommon tone colors, the use of the most unexpected rhythms. And hovering above all this is a magic which envelops the work and brings the masses of ordinary listeners to accept the wildest audacities as something perfectly natural. (…) Monsieur Fauré has projected himself with one bound into the ranks of the masters.”
The performance at the Howard fully encompassed this magic and after profuse clapping at the end of the program, the artists performed “Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen,” adapted by Clarence Cameron White, as an encore.
Medgine Picard, a first year Seminary student, commented, “The tonality was pure. I'm Caribbean and we love the rhythmic sensations—I appreciated the unusual chords and tones. I'm wondering if people from Martinique derive their music from Clarence Cameron White. I loved the ladies’ elegance.”