Dr. Chris Dickey, a clinical assistant professor of music from Washington State University, entertained attendees at a concert Thursday, March 3, at White Concert Hall.
The concert was attended by citizens of the community, Washburn music students and professors to hear the musical ability of the low brass master.
Dickey has had a long career in the performing arts, and his current workload at Washington State is proof of this. He teaches undergraduate and graduate studios for euphonium and tuba. He is a conductor for the university’s brass ensemble, and he is a teacher of music literature and theory courses. He also performs in the faculty’s brass quintet. He’s also involved outside of Washington State, has served as a clinician throughout the Pacific Northwest, is on the board of directors for the International Tuba-Euphonium Association and has judged many collegiate music festivals.
When it comes to teaching there are many different points that Dickey focuses on. He is dedicated to “expanding the repertoire for the tuba and euphonium,” an insert provided at the concert said. The professor spends his summers teaching at the Red Lodge Music Festival in Montana.
Dickey has also had an illustrious performance career as well. He serves as the principal tuba in the Washington-Idaho Symphony, is a founding member of the Northwest Brass and has performed in several different symphony performances. The man has also soloed with many different Northwest groups and has served as co-host of the Northwest Regional Tuba-Euphonium Conference in 2013.
Dickey opened with Walter Ross’ “Concerto for Euphonium,” a three-movement piece. The first movement, titled “Fantasia,” was a boisterous celebration of music. “Chorale variations,” the second piece, had a slower tempo, giving a sense of contemplating the power of music and poetry itself.
The final movement in the concerto was titled “Scherzo,” which is Italian for “joke,” which matched the upbeat and jovial sense of the music. The sound of the euphonium matched perfectly with the song’s tone almost sounding like a boisterous and hearty laugh.
Another movement that audience members seemed to enjoy was an adaptation of George Gershwin’s song “Someone to Watch Over Me,” which appeared in the musical “Oh, Kay!” The song has lyrics which normally accompany it, that normally suits a lower voice such as a baritone or an alto. This makes the euphonium a perfect substitute for replacing a voice with an instrument. Dickey’s re-creation of this jazz standard was not only beautiful, but got a lot of applause from the audience.
He ended the concert with another multi-movement piece called “Sonata for Tuba and Piano” by Benjamin Thomas. The first movement titled “Allegro Moderato,” which means moderately fast, gave the tone of a person traveling at a fast pace, the rush of modern life, and how time does not seem to slow to compromise with our packed schedules.
Dr. Dickey plans to continue to move forward with his teaching at Washington State University. Teaching students to master their craft, as well as write pieces of music for his instruments of choice. His performance at White Concert Hall impressed both Washburn faculty and music students alike.