The Baroque Ensemble took audience members back into history as director Robert Tueller and his students took to the Barrus Concert Hall stage March 14.
Juliann Eldridge, a senior studying music education and one of the gro’s violinists, said that she has always loved music since she began taking piano lessons when she was eight years old.
“I just started from there, and it was a lifelong love that has always been a part of my life,” Eldridge said.
Eldridge said that they were able to learn the Baroque-period instruments by rehearsing each day and playing as much as they could. She said that Tueller was extremely helpful as well.
“Two times a week we had rehearsal and Brother Tueller would point out things for us to do, guiding us through the darkness to get us to play and do what we needed to do,” said Halden Toy, a freshman studying music performance who played the harpsichord and organ with the ensemble.
Toy said that they take their performances seriously, but the Baroque style is something to have fun with.
“It’s all about drama and creating really thick chromaticism and emotion and really putting edge on the music that we are creating,” Eldridge said.
As a music education major, Eldridge said that she hopes to take her passion for music into her career.
“My plan is to be a high school orchestra director — to build a really great program and to inspire others to see the true beauty in music,”
Eric Fuentes, a senior studying political science, said that for his humanities classes, he has to attend shows. Since he didn’t know much about the Baroque period, he decided to come to the ensemble.
“My favorite part was how different instruments can always stay together and in tune to make a wonderful piece,” said Fuentes.
Ashley Leslie, a sophomore studying elementary education, said that she has seen many performances put together by younger age gros but had wanted to see a concert that was put on by more experienced musicians who have trained with their instruments.
“I don’t play music, but I like to listen to it and get a vibe from it,” Leslie said. “I really like performances, and I wanted to see how they connected with their instruments.”
Leslie said that she liked the way each movement changed to create the different emotions she felt while listening to the music. She said that she felt in tune with the feeling of the music as each of the pieces progressed.
Music is something of an inherited trait for Toy.
“Both of my parents were musicians,” said Toy. “My mother was a piano teacher for … 35 years and she had numerous students, and she was kind of like the piano teacher for our stake.”
Toy also credits his bringing for where he is today.
“My father was a fabulous organist and pianist, and I would spend a lot of time with him,” he said. “Spending all that time with him rubbed off, and here I am today.”
Toy said that when Baroque music was first written, it was played for more relaxed settings and for entertainment in coffee houses and taverns and for meals. It wasn’t as formal as some might expect.
“It’s something to just be enjoyed and is as wild and adventurous as you can possibly be within it,” Toy said. “Overall, I would have to say we bring our efforts and we share them with people, but we have a really good time doing it.”
After college, Toy said that he plans on getting a doctorate in organ performance and working at a large church or university where he can share his talents.
“What I would really like to do … is just bring the music that’s just touched my life in a lot of ways, and hopefully touch someone else’s life and bring them to the music that I love,” Toy said.