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Common Hour Concerts Showcase Student Performances

April 06, 2017

Laura Lemire
Communications and Marketing
(603) 641-7240

student music lesson in a practice room

Saint Anselm students in the Music Performance Program join Fine Arts faculty performing music throughout the semester on select dates during the college's common hour: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 12:30 - 1:30 p.m.

Fifty students take music lessons through the college's music program and are enrolled in the course, MU160: Studies in Music Performance, for academic credit. Students study voice, piano, violin, flute, oboe, or percussion. "They are not required to perform in the common hour concerts," said Professor Sean Parr, director of the program, "but we do encourage them to think about it after they've worked hard to get a piece of music to a performance level."

The concerts help students grow as performers and become more comfortable on a stage. Senior Caresse Mailloux, a fine arts major with an emphasis in music, has performed during multiple common hour concerts. "For me, performing in these concerts has helped a lot with my stage fright," said Mailloux who plays the flute.

Mailloux not only benefits personally from performing consistently, but also recognizes humbly that "it is not just about you, the practitioner in the room, you are sharing your music with other people." Mailloux takes her love for music outside of the classroom by performing in other capacities on campus such as singing in the college choir and playing the flute in the pit orchestra for some Abbey Player productions.

Professor Ann Holbrook, of the English department, has attended several common hour concerts and notes how they benefit the Anselmian community. "They give us a chance to appreciate our music faculty, world-class performers like the soprano Sharon Baker, and hear young musicians at all levels who are making space in their crowded schedules to follow a passion," she said. "Plus, we model a valued practice we teach in Conversatiowe all stop working for an hour to enjoy beauty."

Faculty members perform mostly classical music during their concerts, while the styles broaden during the student concerts to include musical theater, folk, jazz, world, and more.

The Music Performance Program began in the fall semester of 2014, thanks to funding secured to renovate the Dana Center, design and build practice spaces, and purchase new pianos. The music curriculum was redesigned as well, adding performance and ensemble courses. The program has grown in the years since, and Professor Parr hopes to expand the offerings for next semester to include additional instruments.

Remaining Spring 2017 Music Concerts

  • April 21, 12:30 p.m.: Common Hour Concert, featuring Students in the Music Performance Program, Dana Center
  • April 29, 7:30 p.m.: Leonard Bernstein's Candide, collaboration with the Manchester Choral Society, Dana Center
  • April 30, 3 p.m.: Leonard Bernstein's Candide, collaboration with the Manchester Choral Society, Dana Center
  • May 2, 7:30 p.m.: Chamber Music Concert, featuring Students in the Music Performance Program, Dana Center
  • May 3, 12:30 p.m.: Common Hour Concert, featuring Students in the Music Performance Program, Dana Center


Story by Christine Balquist '17

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