A musical work exploring a student's vision of individuals working together to improve society will receive its premiere this week on Dandelion Square on the University of Rochester's River Campus.
"Merger," written by Eastman School of Music student Abigail Aresty, will be performed at 11 a.m. and at noon on both Friday, Sept. 23, and Saturday, Sept. 24, by OSSIA, a student-run contemporary music ensemble at the Eastman School of Music. The performance incorporates a display of paintings and sculptures as a visual representation of the diverse individuals Aresty has imagined.
Aresty is a Take Five Scholar, a University of Rochester program that allows selected students to enhance their undergraduate degrees by taking a fifth year of study tuition-free. Aresty's project is "Contemporary Societal Issues: Becoming an Informed Artist." A composition major, she will received her Bachelor of Music degree next spring.
"My goal in undertaking my Take Five program is to learn about modern issues so that I can draw upon them to influence my music and therefore continue to improve upon a growing cultural awareness of these issues," says Aresty. " 'Merger' is a piece about bring people to work together on these issues, and especially bringing artists and musicians into the community to play an active role."
"Merger" was written for seven wind instruments: piccolo, oboe, E-flat clarinet, tenor saxophone, horn, trumpet, and trombone. Audience members are encouraged to move around to listen to different musicians and observe the artworks.
"When you come to OSSIA's world premiere of my composition Merger, you'll walk through an outdoor space that has been transformed into an art gallery and a stage," Aresty said. "In this space, you'll hear just one piece of music, but it is a collage of multiple style, moods and tempos. And you, the audience, get to choose your perspective."
A Massachusetts native, Aresty studied at Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick and began her music career as a horn player. She has participated in Boston University's Tanglewood Institute programs for both horn and composition and studied at the Royal College of Music in London.
OSSIA presents concerts promoting new music, featuring compositions by Eastman School students. Admission to the group's performance of "Merger" is free and open to the public. Rain dates for the concert are Sept. 25 and 26. More information is available online at http://ossianewmusic.org/merger/ .