Free BHSU Faculty Concert Kicks-Off Music Season Community-Appreciation-Style

Diane French

Dr. Christopher Hahn and Colleen McKirdy showed a little love for the people of Spearfish last Thursday night with a trumpet and piano recital. The BHSU community appreciates all the support this town has displayed in so many ways and now the music faculty members had an opportunity to return the favor. The “early valentinea�� went out to the fans in the form of a free concert at the Meier Recital Hall 7:30 p.m. on February 5th. It seems the audience fell in love with campus entertainment all over again that evening as a result. It’s no wonder these events are such great fund-raisers. Take advantage of a concert here if you haven’t already done so. What an amazing, luxurious opportunity exists here for the taking and donations made at the door support music scholarships and student programs for the future.

As mentioned, love was in the air but to be fair warmth was in the air – an unseasonably warm evening and that is an understatement, it was summer with snow on the ground. There was a hustle and bustle of people enjoying the evening, from youngsters with families to couples and seniors. The one hundred or more guests for the most part from the Spearfish community appeared excited. Some happily chatted with the performers before and after the show. That energy may be typical at such programs and I certainly felt recharged being present but what it really comes down to is support, plain and simple. McKirdy said she was happy to see such a great turn out. Super Bowl Sunday’s recital in Rapid City reached only a handful of guest, “probably due to lack of advertising” as she put it. When asked if she was adding anything to her piano for the evening’s performance such as referenced in the John Cage music from last season she replied, “A mallet, that’s about the extenta��Nothing quite like Cagea�� You will find a lot of humor in some of the parts and some different sounds. It will be quite interesting.”

Hahn’s opening remark, “I hope you all had a chance to read over some of the program notes, if not this will be interesting.” He jumps into the humorous play of musician and instrument recreating a wind-up toy, playful puppets and quirky noises, all part of the fun that was only the beginning trumpet solo. “Toying” by composer Eric Nathan, in three parts performed by Hahn was just as McKirdy warned us it would be – fun and laugh out loud funny at times. It really drew you in and yes it is always good to know what you are getting into.

Next, Hahn introduced the flugelhorn while McKirdy took mallets to the piano strings. This was my favorite piece, the prize winning “Song Without Words” composed in 2011 by David John Lang, of Adelaide, Australia. The program described the piece best with this young composer’s words, “The main idea is the idea of loneliness’ The flugelhorn is trying to “come homea�� to the piano, but doesn’t quite get there.” Now you are forced back into your own head to feel those haunting, aching pangs from your life. You are hooked. You are all in and then comes finale, sneaking up on you. You really had to be there but Lang describes best, “The flugelhorn plays into the piano, allowing for sympathetic vibrations to occur in the strings of the piano.” This is the moment you become transported. Find examples of his music on Sound Cloud (

If you missed out on this event many other upcoming music events are planned on this campus in the Meier Recital Hall. The J. Laiten Weed Honors Orchestra at 7:30 on February 21, 2015 is the next event and one of the few that will charge a fee. Four free events follow in March and seven in April so check the schedule of events at and make time to attend in support of the good thing we’ve got here. You might be tickled that you did so, but I know that you won’t be sorry.