Faculty brass ensemble explores new pieces

Gwendolyn Ducre

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Faculty members collaborated once again Thursday night in the Emy-Lou Biedenharn Recital Hall. The School of Visual and Performing Arts continued its Faculty Artist Concert series with the Black Bayou Brass trio.

The trio consists of Aaron Witek on trumpet, James Boldin on horn and James Layfield on trombone.

The trio performed a dynamic piece entitled “Trio for Brass,” composed by Gina Gillie. This song resonated with the crowd. The audience applauded and cheered audibly.

This particular work was originally composed for a brass trio in New Mexico. This group was also the first to perform the piece. Boldin, a music professor at ULM, attended graduate school with the composer. The composer gave him the piece and allowed him to perform it with his own group here.

Audience members said this story interested them.

“It’s really cool that the composer actually gave it to them herself and allowed them to play it,” said Elizabeth Stephens, a freshman Spanish major.

The faculty performers also praised both the piece and the performer. Aaron Witek, a music instructor at ULM, said the second part of the song was unlike anything the group had played before.

“I personally like this piece because it explores different timber and styles,” Witek said.

A later piece titled “Romanian Folk Dances” transformed the recital hall into a royal court dance scene from the Victorian Era. The performers tapped their feet along to the music. Audience members bobbed their heads and swayed side-to-side in their seats.

The faculty members talked to each other and the audience between songs. Boldin said it made the performance more entertaining and funny if they told the audience about the selections instead of having it printed onto the pamphlet for everyone to read.

“When I first got there and realized only three people were playing, I thought it would be boring.

However, it was better than I thought it would be. It wasn’t boring at all,” Stephens said.

The trio dedicated over six months of preparation for Thursday’s concert.

The Faculty Artist Concert series continues next Tuesday, Feb. 3 with Scott Humes, associate professor of clarinet, and several special guests who will perform at 7:30 p.m. in the Emy-Lou Biedenharn Recital Hall.