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Asbury University’s Music Department will showcase two instrumental musicians, as well the premiere of a new film score written by a student, in the biennial Concerto Competition Concert on Feb. 20. The program will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Hughes Auditorium, and admission is free and open to the public.

Tubist Edgar George ’15 and pianist Joshua “Jay” Smith ’15 will play solo works, accompanied by the University orchestra. “Diamond Island,” a film score composed by Jacob McCoy ’14, will be premiered by the University orchestra.

Asbury University OrchestraAdditionally, the orchestra, directed by Dr. Ronald W. Holz, will perform a Rigaudon by Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny. 

“The concert dance provides great opportunity for the orchestra to display technical brilliance and vibrant musical ensemble,” Holz said.

George, a music education major, will perform “Concertino for Tuba and String Orchestra” by Arthur Frackenpohl. He says the most challenging aspect of learning this piece was maintaining energy to carry the melody.

“The melody can be very hard to focus on with tuba,” he said. “You need a lot of air. The faster parts are more technical, which is actually easier, but the melodic stuff was quite a challenge.”

Never having played a concerto with full orchestra before, George has enjoyed getting to experience a different kind of accompaniment.

“It’s interesting seeing how my part fits together with the strings, and finding how well they match,” he said. “It’s really neat and texturally different.”

Smith, a music major with a performance emphasis, will perform Edvard Grieg’s “Concerto for Piano in A Minor.” Though learning the concerto has been a long process, he says it has honed his skills dramatically.

“I probably don’t even realize how much I’ve learned from just this one piece,” he said. “I was actually intending to play this my freshman year, but I ran out of time. So I waited until junior year, and now I’ve got it down.” 

Smith says he currently practices around 22 hours a week, and concerto preparation can require up to half of that practice time.

“You don’t even realize how much time you spend of stuff, sometimes,” Smith said.

Smith looks forward to playing his concerto with the orchestra because the concert form gives musicians and audience members the opportunity to listen in a different way than they’re used to.

“There’s the element of an expansion of your ear, just the joy of having that next level of music to perform with as well as to enjoy,” Smith said. “The way music is today, where we can just get it at the click of a finger, this is a chance for people to see to how much goes into a piece, and how  much fun it can be, and how much of a challenge.”

Smith says he is thankful to God for his abilities, and excited to share his work with the community.

“Music is such a blessing, and I just want to say how grateful I am to God for this gift,” he said. “My main hope is that audience members have as much fun listening to it as I’ve had learning it.”

–by Joel Sams ’15