For Ohio University’s School of Music alumni, coming back to campus can be for more than just a visit.
The College of Fine Arts will hold a faculty and alumni recital Saturday, Jan. 25 at the School of Music Recital Hall.
The recital is a chamber recital, Sam Witmer, school of music adjunct faculty member, said, meaning that it will feature performances by smaller groups like voice and piano or a string quartet.
“The diverse program will include works from Beethoven, Barber and Vivaldi to a piece composed in 2016 for stereo fixed media by an Ohio University composition alumnus,” Christopher Fisher, a professor of piano in the school of music, said in an email.
The event is developed by the school of music’s alumni committee, Fisher said in an email, which tries to host an alumni concert annually to showcase the talents of the school’s exceptional alumni and faculty.
For some performing, like Witmer, the concept of faculty and alumni takes on a different, special meaning.
“It's going to be all people who are either faculty, or who are alumni at OU, and in my case, I'm both and I think that's the case for a lot of the other performers in the recital,” Witmer said. “So I think that that might be something that they're trying to showcase.”
Witmer will be singing Samuel Barber’s “Despite and Still.”
“It's a five song cycle,” Witmer said. “And it's a really interesting piece, the sort of the pieces are all written by different poets. The composers the same, but the poets are all different.”
Witmer is personally excited to be performing with Jeremy Vigil, who teaches collaborative piano in the school of music.
“Especially the music that we will be performing, it's very much a collaborative effort,” Witmer said.
This performance is unique in that while a typical performance would have a rehearsal schedule, because the performers are well practiced professionals, the event will be put together for the first time right before the performance.
“There's no sort of set rehearsal rehearsal schedule given to us,” Witmer said. “I'm not sure if there are any alumni that are traveling from out of town to come here, but I'm sure they would have a much harder time of setting up rehearsals.”
For Witmer the performance is a very big and exciting moment, having been both an alumnus of OU and having grown up in the area.
“Well it's actually pretty big for me as one could well imagine, because there's a lot of people: students that I still know who've gone on to do masters programs or come back for doctorates at OU or faculty that used to teach me here when I was an 18 year old freshman,” Witmer said. “Also all the people in the community because I actually grew up here as well.”
Witmer said this was his most public performance as a solo singer.
“Being able to share my progress... I won't lie, it's a bit intimidating because I’m going to be performing with a lot of people who are older and more experienced than me, but I feel a bit humbled that I've been included among those people as well,” Witmer said.
The performance serves as an inspiration to some students, serving as hope that their careers will come to fruition.
“I feel like OU has a pretty good connection with its alumni and keeping those connections still strong throughout the years,” Taylor Linzinmeir, a sophomore studying journalism, said. “I think it's cool. It gives people hope to see that while they're studying something, it's not for nothing. You know people go and do things with that degree and people are still doing music.”