Jill Spurr Titus Concert Kicks off Drew Ensemble Concert Season

By: Nina Campli Photographer: David Iskowitz

Every April, the Concert Hall here at Drew is non-stop with events from both inside and outside Drew. The most recent was the annual Jill Spurr Titus Memorial Scholarship Recital on Sunday, April 15 at 8 p.m. Jill Spurr Titus graduated from Drew in May of 1989 with a double major in Music and Psychology. She was enrolled in the Creative Arts Therapy graduate studies program at Lesley College when she was killed in a car accident. The Music Department here at Drew and Spurr’s parents made this scholarship possible. The scholarship is awarded to those skilled, talented and dedicated to performing music.

The concert featured four instrumentalists: Sabrina Biton-Tinoco (‘19) on violin, Dillan Comtois (‘20) on piano, Brianna Vazquez Smith (‘19) on viola and the Acorn’s very own Caitlin Shannon (‘19) on clarinet. The group played a wide variety of pieces from Beethoven’s Piano Trio No. 7 in B-flat to Afternoon Cakewalk Suite by William Bolcom. The pieces usually featured three of the four performers, all though each of them did get a solo.

Many who attended thought the concert was wonderful. Peter Bacas (‘20) said, “I am biased, because I play the clarinet and I’ve played this piece before, but I thought Cate’s solo was exceptionally well done.” Shannon, accompanied by director David Iskowitz, played a Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, Op 167 by Camille Saint-Saens. Some audience favorites included Allegro con moto from Max Bruch’s Eight Pieces for Clarinet, Viola and Piano and Comtois’ performance of Frederic Chopin’s Polonaise- Fantaisie in A-flat major. Stefanie Defronzo (’20) said, “Each note was played with grace and each song was obviously rehearsed to perfection. I thoroughly enjoyed watching and listening to my immensely talented peers.”

In addition to this Drew ensemble, there are also a number of upcoming performances by other musical ensembles. The Choirs at Drew will perform “Songs in the Key of Life” on Saturday, April 21 at 8 p.m. The next day, Sunday, April 22 the Flute Ensemble will perform at 3 p.m. and then later that same day at 7 p.m., the Jazz Ensemble will perform their program titled “Jazz and Politics.” Monday, April 23 at 8 p.m. will feature the Drew University Orchestra concert, titled “Unfinished Business” and then rounding out these few music filled days is the Composers Concert on Tuesday, April 24 at 8 p.m.


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