Professors give moving performance in premiere faculty concert series

September 30, 2010

by Naomi Allison

The School of Performing Arts presented its annual faculty concert series 7:30-9 p.m. Sept. 23 in Howard Auditorium, Center for the Performing Arts with a performance by Lawrence Gibbs, an assistant professor of music.

The concert, which included songs written by popular British composers such as Charles Stanford, John Ireland and Ralph Williams, featured Gibbs performing music pieces on the clarinet. He was assisted by Ruston resident Shayla Blake and Lisa Maxedon, head of vocal studies, who accompanied Gibbs on the piano.

Gibbs said the purpose of the faculty concert series was to showcase the talent of the faculty in the School of Performing Arts.

“We love to perform music that’s a challenge, because it allows us to continue to grow as artists and demonstrate our abilities to our students,” he said.

Gibbs said the idea to incorporate British composers came while he was searching for his English heritage on Ancestor.com.

“I have a particular enjoyment of music from Britain,” he said.
Throughout the concert, Gibbs performed several musical pieces including “Sonata” and “Three Vocalises.”

Gibbs also performed “Fantasy-Sonata” and “Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano,” a jazzy upbeat song written by Joseph Horovitz.

Gibbs said he was blessed to perform with his colleagues on stage.

“Lisa Maxedon has an exceptional voice, and although the pieces were extremely challenging and difficult for my accompanist, she did a great job.” he said. “She is literally playing the part of the orchestra in the background by herself.”

Katherine Finney, a freshman vocal performance major, said she enjoyed Gibbs’ performance at the concert.

“It was amazing,” she said. “It’s been years since I heard someone play that well. I was just in awe of him and the pianist. Her fingers were moving so fast.”

Allie Adams, a freshman vocal major, said it was nice to have an opportunity to see her professor perform outside the classroom.

“I liked Dr. Maxedon’s performance,” she said. “It was really cool to listen to her sing for the first time. Her voice is phenomenal.”

E-mail comments to nsa008@latech.edu.