Listening Through a Kaleidoscope

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Published October 16, 2018
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The Montclarion
MSU Clarinet Choir rehearses "Havana Moon from Caribbean Suite." Photo courtesy of Rodney Leinberger

Alexander Kasser Theater was put under the influence of music from the moment the first note was played. The reflection of each performer created a beautiful creation of endless patterns through their talent.

Kaleidoscope is Montclair State University’s John J. Cali School of Music’s annual showcase concert that featured all major ensembles and selected solo/chamber performances. It was held on Friday, Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m.

Director Robert Cart of John J. Cali School of Music opened up the showcase by welcoming guests and explaining the reason behind Kaleidoscope.

“For more than a decade and a half, the School of Music has been presenting Kaleidoscope as a way of energizing our students, faculty and staff in preparation for our academic year,” Cart said.

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Montclair State students rehearse “II. Andante Sostenuto” with the flute, violin and piano. Photo courtesy of Rodney Leinberger

Every performance contained different instruments, vocalists and directors. The conductors were also a big part of the show by not only leading the symphony but allowing the audience to see their enthusiasm and passion with their tasteful movements.

Some performances would capture the audience by making them want to dance in their seats while others would leave the audience feeling emotional. Other individuals sang classics in different languages that some would not understand. Despite not understanding the performers who sang in different languages, their body movements and facial expressions transmitted the emotions they wanted to portray.

Nicole Jodoin, a second-year graduate student in vocal performance, was one of the soprano vocalists who sang “Klange der Heimat.” While the audience may not have understood the words, she carried the audience with her expressive, flirtatious wit.

“You always have to think about technique, but you’re trying to enjoy yourself and kind of play off with the audience,” Jodoin said.

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Nicole Jodoin rehearses “Klange der Heimat” with Steven W. Ryan on the piano. Photo courtesy of Rodney Leinberger

Many of the performers, such as Jodoin, knew exactly how to own the stage. However, the performances were not only on the center of the stage but also on the sides of the theater.

William Bias, a freshman jazz performance major who was there supporting his friends, appreciated the placement of each performance and thought it was a great strategy.

“It keeps things moving and keeps your eyes away from the people setting up for the next performance,” Bias said.

Those who came to support their friends and family also found pleasure in the students performing, including Brenda Jodoin.

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Conductor Helen Pyo-Cha guides the MSU Symphony Orchestra in rehearsals to the closing piece, “Festive Overture, Op. 96.” Photo courtesy of Rodney Leinberger

Brenda Jodoin, supporting her daughter Nicole Jodoin for her final Kaleidoscope performance, not only enjoys watching her daughter perform but the rest of the students putting their passion into their music.

“I love seeing my daughter, but I actually think every year something is wonderful [about] seeing each kid perform their best and trying their hardest,” Brenda Jodoin said. “If you watch football or anything else at the college level, these students want to be the best they can be for the rest of their lives.”

Brenda Jodoin believes in every performer’s ability no matter what the instrument or song they are performing.

“Whether I’m watching a bassoonist, a horn player [or] a vocalist, it doesn’t matter because all these kids, right now, are trying to perform their best so that’s what I take away from it,” Brenda Jodoin said.

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Conductor Heather J. Buchanan guides MSU Singers, cello player Steven Chen and piano player Steven W. Ryan in the song “Invictus.” Photo courtesy of Rodney Leinberger

Montclair State students who are bored on a weekend and are worried about spending money should attend an Alexander Kasser Theater event to support the arts. It is free for undergraduates and all other guests only need to pay $15.

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