Howard Gardner, a Harvard psychologist, has posited that instead of a single kind of intelligence quotient (or IQ), humans actually have several. Among them is what he calls “musical intelligence.” It’s the unusual, maybe even genetically based, ability to create or perform music that rises above that of most other people. On Fannin Hall’s noontime recital stage Dec. 4, a dozen brave souls parted the curtains to demonstrate the validity of Gardner’s theory.
Before a sympathetic and supportive audience of fellow students, the selected outstanding pupils of Richland faculty members Derrick Logozzo, Boriana Savova, Lance Sanford, Abel Rodriguez, Leah Greenfield-Fritz, Sharon Deuby, Camille Fu, Ron Jones and Brandon Kelley performed a variety of mostly classical pieces ranging from Bach to Paganini. This concert, which by tradition comes near the end of each term, is designated as the “Honors Instrumental Studio Recital” because it allows especially gifted music students to satisfy their applied music jury requirement by playing a solo in public.
Although there was an occasional off-note, for the most part the concert was an aural banquet that emanated from a fine flock of young musicians some of whom will doubtless one day develop into professionals either as performers, teachers or both.
Among the most notable was Milton Amaya, a student of Sharon Deuby, who rendered a skillful demonstration of his mastery of the deep and resonant bass clarinet. Other outstanding performances included America Castellanos on flute, and Evan Mendez and Sebastian Tran, both of whom played the marimba.
Sometimes when a musician on stage gets into the spirit of the moment and spectacularly nails all of the notes, hearts of those in the audience sing out in resonance and angels soar. Such rare musical intelligence is a joy to behold. Yet even when players stumble, miss a cue, or a stray from the cadence, they can take solace by realizing that almost everyone out front has been in the same painful place and suffers along with them. It is often helpful at such times to remember that public performances can always be regarded as growth opportunities.
Thus to those on stage, no matter your level of skill or experience, please heed this message: We are all lifted up by the beauty you bring to our lives. Our throats catch as we are elevated by the elation that emerges
from what you are doing. It is no mere string of notes from a sheet of paper you are producing. No. It is truly music.