Monday, March 14, 2011

First Ever Student Gamba Recital at CCM

Micah Fusselman, a doctoral candiate in cello performance at CCM, gave the first ever student viola da gamba recital at the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music last week. Micah has been working with me for the past several years, taking the one credit elective viola da gamba class. He has excelled in every way possible. During the second week of class, he came with his viol and asked, "how long until I can play this?" He began playing one of the Bach gamba sonatas. I told him that it seemed that he was already playing it! This was during a period when all the other students were struggling just to hold the instrument. Micah has surpassed being a student and has turned into a colleague. He has played in four Catacoustic concerts and numerous outreach performances.
Micah hopes to finish his degrees (music theory and cello) and leave Cincinnati for a university job, which he will surely attain. There, he also hopes to be able to offer his skills as a gamba player for the community and possibly to the university students. How exciting!
Micah's recital was a virtuoso performance, including the music of Hume, Simpson, Marais, and Schenck. In his concert talk, he said that many people have asked him why in the world he would bother with a non-degree/non-credit recital for an instrument that does nothing to further these pieces of paper and does not help support his two children. The answer at first was "because it is good for me." But, that later proved not to be enough. The answer showed itself. "Because I love the music." Micah's love for the viola da gamba and its repertory was fully evident in his recital last week, and I can only hope that this will not be the first of such events at this extraordinary music school!