Music professors showcase talents at pair of recitals

Courtesy /

Courtesy /

Jenny Adkins

Pablo Mahave-Veglia and Lee Copenhaven, two of Grand Valley State University’s music professors, are showcasing their talents in the musical arts to the Grand Valley community with a pair of recitals. Copenhaven performed his recital Sunday, Sept. 9 and Mahave-Veglia’s recital is still to come this week.

Mahave-Veglia said that recitals are typically a ‘Buffet of Sound,’ as most recitals focus on several styles and base their performances around those styles. For Mahave-Veglia’s recital, he said it’s more unique because it focuses on a singular work, but also features related pieces.

“This one’s quite different,” Mahave-Veglia said.  “It’s one major work. The pieces around it are all the works that inspired it.” 

Instead of focusing on that ‘buffet of sound,’ Mahave-Vegila’s more interested in introducing the audience to a specific piece and all of the works that inspired its creation. That way, the audience not only gets the end product of the piece, but they’re also given a look into the process that made the final product.

By focusing on a central piece of music, it allows him to make classic music more tangible—a facet of his recital that he’s most excited for.

“I like introducing people to classic music,” Mahave-Veglia said. “The idea behind the one piece, the main course, with the inspiration around”

It may be typical for students to view their professors as just that: their professors. However, professor-lead performances, like the ones being performed by Mahave-Veglia and Copenhaven, aim to help to connect students with their professors.

Mahave-Veglia said that even when he was a student, it was weird to see his professors doing normal things, like going to the grocery store. He said seeing a professor on stage is valuable for both those invested in classical music, and students who may just enjoy the art form.

“I think if people know quite a bit about classic music, it might be very interesting to see a performer’s point of view,” Mahave-Veglia said. “If people know little, they can learn a lot about one piece.”

For those who may be devoting their studies to music, it allows them to see a professor, who may be instructing them, showcase the performance part of the study. For those outside of the music field, it showcases a professor’s hobbies and interests, helping to connect students and professors.

These professor-led performances allow instructors who study these fields to showcase their interest in the field to not only their students, but to Grand Valley’s student body as a whole.

“It’s hard to address the act of performance in theory alone.” Mahave-Veglia said. “The stage (…) is something the students would have to see, and I think [the performance] is a value.”

Mahave-Veglia will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 13 in the Sherman Van Solkema Recital Hall, which is inside of the Haas Performing Arts Center. Admission is free and all are welcome.