Happy 50th Krannert!

Saxophonist Wilson Poffenberger’s Krannert Debut, along with Pianist Casey Gene Dierlam

Written by: Leah Siegel

This week we had the privilege of attending an event honoring Krannert’s 50th birthday. This was a special performance because it was Wilson Poffenberger’s, a Doctor of Musical Arts student at the University of Illinois, debut.

Every year, The School of Music at the University of Illinois and Krannert has a competition for the Krannert Center Debut Artist. One student among a number of nominees is selected and earns a recital and a full professional contract. This year’s winner is Wilson Poffenberger. The performance we saw was his debut performance. He played along with Casey Gene Dierlam.

Spinach yumminess

The setting of this performance was different than the others we have gone to. In an attempt to create an intimate environment, audience members are seated onstage with the performer! In addition to sitting up close, Krannert had champagne and spinach puff pastries before and after the performance (super delicious)!

Up close and personal

Poffenberger performed 6 pieces, 3 which he added his own personal touch to, which I thought was super impressive and unique. He played pieces by Maurice Ravel, Florent Schmitt, Gabriel Fauré, Johann Bach, Edison Denisov, and Fernande Decruck.

Overall it was a wonderful performance and definitely one of my favorites of the semester. I really enjoyed being so close to Poffenberger and seeing him perform. He did such a wonderful job. It is clear how passionate he is about playing music.

My favorite piece was the first, Ma Mère L’Oye, by Maurice Ravel. The piece was originally composed for a four-hand piano so Poffenberger had to create a new arrangement. He was accompanied on the piano and together the piece was so amazing. It was so light and peaceful. It sort of reminded me of Cinderella when she sings to the birds and squirrels. It made me feel happy and relaxed.

Latin Dance Night is up next. It will be our last event of the semester and one I am really looking forward to!

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