The annual Jill Spurr Titus Scholars Recital was held on Saturday, April 13 at 8 p.m. in honor of Jill Spurr Titus (’89), who was a Drew alumna killed in a car accident while attending graduate school for creative arts therapy at Lesley College. While at Drew, Spurr Titus majored in music and psychology. The recital is part of the scholarship which was created by Drew’s Music Department and Spurr Titus’ parents and is given in memoriam of her. The scholarship is awarded to musicians who are skilled and dedicated to their craft.
This year’s concert featured pieces by German composers, with the exception of one sonata for clarinet, which was by French composer Charles-Camille Saint Saëns. Each of the five performers did a fantastic job. It was refreshing to see a new instrument in the ensemble with Karel Raska (’20) playing french horn. This concert also featured three graduating seniors: Sabrina Briton Tinoco (’19) on violin, Caitlin Shannon (’19) on clarinet and Brianna Vázquez-Smith (‘20) on viola. Dillon Comtois (’20) did an amazing job on piano, especially considering she was in nearly every piece.
One of the highlights of this concert was the first piece by F.W. Voigt, “Nocturne for Clarinet, Horn and Piano Op. 75.” Comtois, Raska and Shannon blended their sounds well together and created a truly beautiful opening to the night. Another notable piece was Vázquez-Smith’s performance of Bach’s “Cello Suite No. 2,” a piece that is extremely technically challenging, but she navigated through it with ease. In Comtois’ solo “Piano Sonata No. 10” by Beethoven, her fingers seemed to literally float across the keys. From the first note she had the audience completely engaged.
The Concert Hall at Drew still has many more events in the coming weeks. On Wednesday, April 24, students from Professor of Music Trevor Weston’s composition class will have their pieces performed at the Composer’s Concert. At 8 p.m. on Sunday, April 28, the Jazz Ensemble will perform a variety of pieces, including two with vocals. The next day on Monday, April 29, the Drew University Orchestra will perform their end of the year concert titled “Game of Tones: Season Two.” This concert will feature two excerpts from “The Planets,” as well as Mozart’s “Symphony 40” and the theme from “Game of Thrones.” Finally, the Concert Hall will finish off the school year with the Capstone Festival, which takes place over two days because there are so many music majors graduating this year. The first part will be Sunday, May 5 at 8 p.m. and the second will be Monday, May 6 at 8 p.m.
COURTESY OF PETER BACAS