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Summer 2000  
 
Perfect Pitch
Liberal arts produces three musical virtuosos
   
 

Fishing for Answers
Gillian Morejon '00 to examine fishery futures in Phillipines and Chile

   
  Shaking up Sakespeare
Students take the Bard's work on the road.
   
 

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Admissions officers love to see some inventivenes in applicants' mail.

   
  how we teach
Elizabeth Sagaser (English) takes poetic recitation to new heights.
 
 

Perfect Pitch

By Robert Gillespie

Gross, Bhargava, Jansen
From left: Sara Gross '01, Kamini Bhargava '00 and Hilary Jansen '02

Ask a Colby music student the meaning of music score, and you might hear not about compositions but about victories. Kamini Bhargava '00 won the 1998 American Music Association National Youth Violin Concerto Competition a scant three weeks after her teacher tricked her into going to a regional competition in Minneapolis under the guise of playing a recital. Competitors usually need five months to prepare. "I was practicing twelve hours a day," said Bhargava, the last of nine regional winners to perform at the final competition in Austin, Texas.

The judges awarded her the $5,000 first prize, put up by the National Endowment for the Arts, for her performance of Beethoven's Violin Concerto in D Major, "and that very night I was playing with the Austin Symphony Orchestra. It was a whirlwind. It was overwhelming," she said.

Pianist Sara Gross '01, accompanist for Bhargava's senior recital in April, won the Colby Symphony Orchestra's second annual concerto competition in 1998-99. Gross's performance of the first movement of Mozart's Piano Concerto in D Minor earned her the top spot in the fall 1998 auditions and the opportunity to perform with the Colby Symphony Orchestra during its March 1999 concert.


Pianist Hilary Jansen '02, co-winner this year with a performance of Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto in C Minor, believes that playing with the Colby Symphony Orchestra gave her a broader sense of the piece. Because she enjoys playing with her friends, Jansen also played the cello in the orchestra as co-winner, baritone Neil Crimins '02, sang solos of Mahler's Songs of a Wayfarer. "We're all making this one piece of music together. Music means a huge deal to us," she said.

Musical Medley

Colby currently has 14 official
musical groups for students.

Blue Lights (male a cappella)
Broadway Musical Revue
Colby College Chorale
Colby Eight (male a cappella)
Colbyettes (female a cappella)
Colby Handbell Ringers
Colby Jazz Band
Collegium Musicum (early music)
Colby Symphony Orchestra
Colby Wind Ensemble
Lorimer Chapel Choir
Meglomaniacs (mixed a cappella)
Sirens (female a cappella)
Sounds of Gospel

Both Gross and Jansen have been playing the piano since they were 6 or 7 years old. During high school, Jansen attended the Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan and the Music Horizonsprogram at Eastman School of Music and was a student at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School. "The kids in the class were phenomenal. They were all going to conservatories," she said. She thought about a music conservatory, too, but ultimately chose a liberal arts program because she felt she could have the best of both schools. Colby, she says, doesn't stress performance at the expense of a broad educational foundation. "You still have your lab science. I think I made the right decision," said Jansen, who attended the Colby Piano Institute last summer and is considering graduate school in music.

Like Jansen, Gross ultimately chose a liberal arts program because "there's more opportunity." She planned to major in English at Colby but started taking piano lessons and switched to music. "I've been very happy here," she said. Gross attended the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival last year, an intense seven weeks of practice, lessons, coachings with her chamber group and nightly concerts. This summer she is participating in the seven-week Brevard Music Festival in North Carolina.

Violinist Bhargava, a music major, hopes to go to graduate school in music pedagogy. Like Bhargava, however, not everyone aims for a life in performance. Economics major Crimins says that he loves singing and wants to continue performing but is focused on a career as a pediatrician.

 

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