Professor giving a lecture to students in old main
German classical tunes focus of Wofford recital

 Emily Conrad, a Wofford College senior, will perform with other students in a free recital celebrating German classical music. 

For the Herald-Journal
Published: Sunday, November 25, 2012

Emily Conrad knew how to read music before she could read words. It was always an important part of her family life.

A Wofford College senior majoring in economics, German and Spanish, Conrad started formal classical piano lessons at age 4 and classical voice lessons at age 7 and performed frequently throughout her childhood.

Conrad, along with about a dozen other student classical musicians at the college, will perform in a free recital, “Follow the Lieder,” at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Leonard Auditorium in Wofford's Main Building.

They will perform on a variety of instruments — piano, viola, violin, flute and organ — as well as sing. The Wofford Singers also will perform.

The event is a “celebration of music of the German-speaking world,” Conrad says. “It will feature the most beloved works of well-known composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Mozart.

“One of the reasons I chose a liberal arts institution like Wofford was the flexibility it would give me to connect my academic interests with my passion for music,” Conrad says. In the course of her college career, she encountered many other students who also are talented classical musicians, but who had chosen to pursue studies and careers in other fields.

Last fall, Conrad got the idea to give herself and these students the chance to celebrate their talents as classical musicians by organizing an on-campus recital. In the spring, their first “Follow the Lieder” recital was held.

Conrad isn't the only performer whose musical interests had an unusual beginning. Nicholas Lowe, a senior from Charleston, is a self-taught pianist whose interest in learning to play the organ grew while attending Wofford.

“He organized his own independent study and obtained a scholarship in order to study with the organist at the Church of the Advent in Spartanburg, Brennan Szafron,” Conrad says. “Nicholas is a frequent performer at the church as well as a musician at Wofford's Catholic Mass.”

Lowe will play organ at Tuesday's recital.

“Follow the Lieder” is a play on words, Conrad says, emphasizing the music — “lieder” is “songs” in German — and the student performers' leadership on campus.

“They are high academic performers who also participate in a wide assortment of extracurricular activities,” she says.

Along with Conrad, performers for “Follow the Lieder” include:

- Riddick Blocker (Class of 2016) of Summerfield, N.C., piano

- Justin Buchanan (Class of 2013) of Shelby, N.C., viola

- Tony Ditolla (Class of 2013) of West Columbia, violin

- Marcus Ellison (Class of 2016) of Moncks Corner, piano

- Melissa Gaddy (Class of 2014) of Greenville, cello

- Sasha Gainen-Truslow (Class of 2015) of Florence, Mass., flute

- Rana Kashani (Class of 2013) of Spartanburg, piano

- Nicholas Lowe (Class of 2013) of Charleston, organ

- Greyson Mann (Class of 2014) of Laurel, Md., piano

- Evelyn Maris (Class of 2014) of Greenville, viola

- Elizabeth Spears (Class of 2016) of Austin, Texas, flute

- Haiwen Zhang (Class of 2016) of China, piano

- The Wofford Singers, providing a choral finale

Other upcoming Wofford musical performances include the Wofford Singers' annual Christmas concert at 7 p.m. Friday. The Singers will present Saint-Saens' Christmas Oratorio.

Also, the Wofford Chamber Players and Wofford Band Fall Concert will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 3 at Leonard Auditorium, in the Main Building. Student musicians will perform classical and popular works.

All events are free.


Copyright © 2012 — All rights reserved. Used with permission.