April 4, 2023 – Ten students of Santa Fe College (SF) Associate Professor of Music Mitch McKay will perform in “The Four Elements,” a free recital at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 18, 2023, in the Jackson N. Sasser Fine Arts Hall at the Northwest Campus, 3000 NW 83rd Street, Gainesville. Tickets are not necessary.
“The program is inspired by the four elements, and I think it’s interesting to hear how composers depict unmusical things like fire, water, earth and wind with the piano,” McKay said.
The program includes music by Claude Debussy, a French composer; Scott Joplin, an American composer; Edvard Grieg, a Norwegian composer; and Franz Liszt, a Hungarian composer.
The title of Debussy’s prelude, “Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l’air du soir,” means “The sounds and fragrances swirl through the evening air.” Debussy was inspired by Charles Baudelaire’s poem, “Harmonie du Soir” (“Evening Harmony”).
“Sailor’s Song” is a lively work by Grieg that is part of his “Lyric Pieces,” short pieces for solo piano.
Joplin’s “The Cascades” is a piano rag that he composed for the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. The piece refers to a feature built for that event, a cascading waterfall that was floodlit at night.
The students will play on a Steinway piano, the college’s full-size concert grand. “It’s important for students to have that experience,” McKay explained. “The Fine Arts Hall has excellent acoustics and playing in that large space is much different from playing in a small practice room or in someone’s living room.”
McKay earned his doctorate degree in piano performance from Michigan State University. Since he was hired by Santa Fe College in 2012, he has been invited to perform at the Florida State Music Teachers Association and to judge various piano competitions in the Southeast. McKay’s students have gained recognition in competitions including the Florida Foundation for the Promotion of Music’s Sonata Festival, the Florida Federation of Music Clubs Festival and the Alcorn State University Piano Competition.
“The Four Elements” is organized and sponsored by the SF Fine and Performing Arts and Entertainment Technology Department. For more information, call McKay at 352-395-5144.