Die Bibliomusik Series at Mary Idema Pew Library
One of the great things about studying music is collaborating with other musicians to put on different shows. Whether it is students coming together to form a band or students choosing to add additional numbers to their recital programs, you can always find an instance of students taking initiative to perform the music they desire while creating an experience for their audience members. One great new series that has started at GVSU is the Die Bibliomusik series that has been taking place in the Mary Idema Pew Library on the Allendale campus. The different "permutations," as they are referred to by coordinator and student composer/oboist Julia Gjebic, take place typically in the library's lower level atrium, usually in one of the two presentation rooms that are available to reserve by students and faculty. These shows are mainly focused to highlight "New Music" works, that is works created in present times that can incorporate classical instrumentation in new ways. Another great feature of this concert series is that it typically highlights the efforts of the composition studio at GVSU and the student performers who often play their works. I myself have played several of these concerts, premiering works written for solo piano, piano and electronics, and mixed chamber ensembles.
Each time something new is brought forward by composers, whether its another work from more seasoned composers in the studio or those who see it as a fun hobby to develop into a musical skill. Many repeat composers include Matthew Finch, John Jansen, Ashley Busch, and Richie Arndorfer, all composers who have contributed greatly to the program with regular performances of their works. Aside from student composers performing their own, like Arndorfer and Gjebic, regular performers of these works are usually players working closely with the composition studio or that participate in the New Music Ensemble, a nationally acclaimed ensemble led by resident composer and composition studio leader Dr. Bill Ryan.
These concerts have been a quiet success among the student body, especially for something so obscured from the typical public music interests as "New Music," a confusing name for first-time listeners to differentiate as a genre from the common phrase. However, the great thing about these concerts is that it takes away the typical expectations of a classical audience and performer relationship by inviting listeners to ask questions and to really get into the live performance. Plus, each permutation is placed in an informal setting, immediately setting a comfortable atmosphere for all parties involved.
I encourage anybody reading this to check this series out! Below are some photos, past permutation programs, and video clips of some performances that you can browse to get yourself familiar with the concert content in addition to the upcoming dates for the next shows! This is a great example of how far GVSU student initiative can go!
You can find some works performed in previous featured composer write-ups and some photos/videos in the links below! Get acquainted with how each concert feels and come to the next one on February 19th at 3 pm!