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Music Professor Uses Concert to Shine Light on New Faculty

Adam Estes (right) rehearses with pianist Adrienne Park and new UM faculty member Austin Smith, on oboe, for a Nov. 4 recital in Nutt Auditorium. Photo by Lynn Adams Wilkins/Department of Music

When Adam Estes, associate professor of saxophone and bassoon at the University of Mississippi, began developing ideas for his upcoming faculty recital, the Department of Music had just hired new faculty – two of whom are also woodwinds.

“I was interested in collaborating with our new faculty, and elected to build a program that would help introduce them to the community in performance,” Estes said.

The Nov. 4 recital is set for 7:30 p.m. in Nutt Auditorium. Tickets are $5 for children and anyone with an Ole Miss ID, $10 for all others, and are available from the UM Box Office or at the door.

Estes and new faculty member Nave Graham, a flutist, will play a piece by Marcos Balter, written for bass flute and baritone sax.

“Not only am I excited to perform for the Oxford and Ole Miss community for the first time, but I’m thrilled to be able to share one of the coolest pieces I know for flute,” Graham said. “Marcos Balter’s ‘Strohbass’ for bass flute and bari sax is definitely on the edge of traditional ‘concert hall’ chamber music.

“It challenges the audience’s general perception of sound – on both instruments – employing a plethora of extended techniques and bizarre sounds to create a unique musical atmosphere. This is my absolute favorite genre of music to play, and I cannot wait to expose our listeners to some new sounds.”

The composer found ways to expand the impact of the flute and saxophone by expanding our understanding of the sonic possibilities, Estes explained.

“The music incorporates key-clicks, air sounds and percussive sounds that are less-traditional ways to play the instruments,” he said. “Balter makes use of microtonality, quarter-tones and articulations to vary the music.”

“Because the composer keeps the music really soft, both instruments will be miked.”

Another new faculty member, oboist Austin Smith, will join Estes, on bassoon, and Adrienne Park, on piano, for the recital’s final piece: “Trio,” by Francis Poulenc.

“For me, Francis Poulenc is able to conjure up a sense of nostalgia and imagery in his chamber music like no other composer,” Smith said. “His trio for oboe, bassoon and piano is one of my absolute favorite pieces to play. I cannot wait to share it with the audiences of Oxford and Ole Miss for the first time.”

Estes described the piece as “quirky and energetic, full of incredible themes and rhythmic vitality.”

Estes has some old friends on the program, as well. Clarinetist Michael Rowlett will join Estes and Park on “Trio Pathetique,” by Mikhail Glinka, to open the recital.

“The Glinka is lush and romantic, so the program opens and closes with more traditional chamber music,” he said.

In between, he will play two pieces with pianist Stacy Rodgers: “Lacrimosa,” by Marilyn Shrude, and “Jonction,” by François Rossé.

“I have personal relationships with both these composers and have commissioned works from them before,” Estes said. “I’m deeply familiar with these composers and their works, and am eager to share these compositions with the community.”

By Lynn Adams Wilkins


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