Indiana Daily Student

Organists perform at Concert at the Crossroads

<p>Organ student Susan Powell taps  the keys of the Webb-Elrich Grand Organ Feb. 18 in Alumni Hall. Powell is currently doing graduate studies in organ, composition, and choral conducting at IU&#x27;s Jacobs School of Music.</p>

Organ student Susan Powell taps the keys of the Webb-Elrich Grand Organ Feb. 18 in Alumni Hall. Powell is currently doing graduate studies in organ, composition, and choral conducting at IU's Jacobs School of Music.

Six music students participated in a performance during Thursday’s Concert at the Crossroads in Alumni Hall. The 45-minute concert allowed students to show their recent pieces, at times shaking the floorboards beneath the audience’s feet.

The Concert at the Crossroads is a monthly organ recital showcasing students in the Jacobs School of Music’s organ department. Recitalist Nolan Snyder said that for these students, the recital is a chance to perform pieces that require considerable practice and dedication.

“I practice around two to three hours every day in order to perform the best I can,” Snyder said. “I put my heart and soul into the pieces I play.”

Susan Powell, who also performed Thursday, said how disciplined each of the students is in honing their craft.

“There’s always a sense of enormous investment in what we're doing,” Powell said. “You don't make it far in this profession unless you're really passionate about it.”

Although the concert looked different than in previous years due to COVID-19 safeguards that limited attendance, many of the recitalists said they enjoy the form as it enables them to play for students who may not have attended a music event in the past.

The students are all part of a program that is well-respected nationally and internationally, department head Janette Fishell said.

“We're one of the oldest and most established organ programs in the country,” Fishell said. “We have hundreds and hundreds of alumni who have been leaders in the profession throughout the country and in the world.”

Even though students need a high level of skill to participate in the department, they appreciate how supportive the group of organists are, Snyder said.

“The community here is so welcoming and so understanding of each other,”Snyder said. “When I first came in to the program I was the only freshman, and the graduate students seemed like virtuosos, but everyone was supportive from day one.”

The Concert at the Crossroads occurs in Alumni Hall, which houses an organ which was installed in 2013.

“The organ suits the space both visually and acoustically,” Fishell said. “People who have never been in Alumni Hall will be impressed by the space and beauty of the instrument.”

Fishell said she hopes that more students will attend the monthly events in the future. The shorter concert length and central location offer  a chance for students who might not have ever attended a concert at IU to come, she said.

“You don’t need to know anything about the organ to enjoy these concerts,” Fishell said. “Just come in and relax with some really good music.”

CLARIFICATION: This story has been updated to reflect that the recital limited attendance due to COVID-19 but maintained the rest of its original form.


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