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Musikabend concert explores German culture

Musikabend, hosted by the Scripps College German and Music Departments on Tuesday, offered an evening of German poetry and music. Closing the evening’s event, Charles W. Kamm, conductor of the Claremont Concert Choir and the Claremont Chamber Choir of the Joint Music Program, directed two pieces, “Abendlied” and “Der Abend,” by Johannes Brahms.  Kamm earned a bachelor’s degree from Earlham College, a master’s degree in music from Michigan State University, and a master’s degree and doctorate in musical arts from Yale University. Kamm has produced choirs at Harvard University, Yale University and for the Finnish National Radio. See story on page 10. / photo by Stephanie Arellanes

Musikabend, hosted by the Scripps College German and Music Departments on Tuesday, offered an evening of German poetry and music. Closing the evening’s event, Charles W. Kamm, conductor of the Claremont Concert Choir and the Claremont Chamber Choir of the Joint Music Program, directed two pieces, “Abendlied” and “Der Abend,” by Johannes Brahms. Kamm earned a bachelor’s degree from Earlham College, a master’s degree in music from Michigan State University, and a master’s degree and doctorate in musical arts from Yale University. Kamm has produced choirs at Harvard University, Yale University and for the Finnish National Radio. / photo by Stephanie Arellanes

Jose Hernandez
Staff Writer

Scripps College’s Balch Auditorium shined its spotlight on poetry and music of German origin Tuesday night at Musikabend, an evening of poetry and music.

The German language and music departments organized this event which recurs differently each year.

“It has a different focus every year. Last year it was Spanish,” said Felicia Palmer, a soloist performer that evening.
Resembling a classical church environment, the auditorium resonated with the sounds of sopranos and excellent piano instrumentation.

Intervals in between the musical performances included the poetry recitals. People came and went throughout the course of the evening. Often, performers would walk off stage and leave the event entirely. However, the seats in the auditorium still remained significantly occupied.

“It was kind of unusual how some of the performers would walk outside right after their bow,” said Nicholas Gonzalez, an audience member.

The roughly hour and a half performance set presented various pieces of poetry recited by students currently studying the German language as part of their education at Scripps.

The poems were recited in groups of students ranging from large groups all the way to single students. The level of fluency also varied from beginners to those with prior experience.

Catherine Beeler, a student of the Claremont Colleges said, “I liked hearing all the poetry and the variety of ways that you can express emotions, even though we don’t all speak German.”

Piano solos, vocal performances and a concert choir performance that wrapped up Musikabend, all compromised the musical segments of the event. German artists of main focus were Johannes Brahms and Franz Schubert along with poems from Hans Manzand Marie Luise Kaschnitz, among many other poets.

“I enjoyed the variety of music and performers. It was a great integration of text and music,” Palmer said.

Balcher Auditorium, which seats 270 people, was mostly filled with the student performers which included a concert choir, and the rest of the audience consisted of family members, other students, and other faculty members.

“For this type of performance it was a good turnout,” said Charles Kamm, Claremont Concert Choir director.

“It was not as big as one of our holiday concerts, but it’s always nice to see smaller shows because you get to experience a wider variety of performances,” said Beeler.

The concert was followed by a reception at the Humanities lounge on campus. The attendance there was huge, signifying the importance of interdisciplinary arts like these at the Claremont Colleges.

“It went really well,” said Kamm. “The performers truly showed a lot of dynamic.”

Jose Hernandez can be reached at jose.hernandez3@laverne.edu.

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