EU music department holds first faculty recital

Category:  News
Wednesday, January 31st, 2018 at 7:56 PM
EU music department holds first faculty recital by Nathan Hirth
Photo: Nathan Hirth

The semester is upon us, the lines have been drawn and the battle horn has been sounded. Well, perhaps it isn’t quite that dramatic, but there certainly was a horn sounded at Friday’s faculty recital in the Dr. William P. Alexander Music Center Recital Hall.

The performance was put on by Dr. Sarah Schouten, a horn and trumpet instructor at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Amber Shay Nicholson, a private instructor and freelance performer. Schouten played the horn section with Nicholson on the piano. Together, they played Mozart’s Concerto No. 4 and Paul Basler’s “Divertimento,” while Schouten also performed Dante Yenque’s “Tanguito” and Andrea Clearfield’s “River Melos” solo.

And if the music wasn’t enough, history lessons about the pieces preceded each performance. For instance, Schouten informed the audience about the South African influences on Basler’s Divertimento. Or, how Mozart’s Concerto No. 4 wasn’t the fourth one he wrote, but it had been mistakenly numbered later. With several of her students in the audience, it’s not surprising that Schouten took the opportunity to increase their knowledge of the subject.

Starting at 4 p.m., the recital lasted for a little over an hour and was the first such event of this semester. Both performers considered it a success. 

“It’s always fun making music, especially with friends,” Schouten said. 

She was also pleased with the opportunity to further instruct her students, listing that as another reason she considered the recital to have been a success. She even announced to her students what they would likely be working on in the following week and described how it related to what was performed.

Nicholson was of a similar mind and said, “I’ve always enjoyed performing, and I enjoy the experience of sharing music with other people.” She also mentioned how much she enjoys hearing from people after the show and learning what they liked. Sometimes the music “touches them in a way you don’t expect.”

It wasn’t just the musicians who thought it went well. The performance received a very positive applause from the couple dozen students in attendance between every piece. The loudest applause — which was at the end of the show — was quickly followed by several students staying after to speak with the performers.

People who wish to see Schouten play will have another chance on Sunday, Feb. 4, from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m., in the recital hall as part of the First Friday Concert Series being organized by the university music department. She will be on stage with Professor Thomas Cody, who will be playing guitar. More First Friday Series shows are also planned for later in the semester involving several members of Edinboro’s music department. The series is also open to the public, and more information can be found on the university’s website.

Nathan Hirth can be reached at

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