As the fall semester brings more events in-person, the music department had its first faculty recital on Friday, Sept. 10, featuring professor Erik Gibelyou.
Gibelyou started teaching as a professor at Saginaw Valley State University last fall after completing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Eastman School of Music. He teaches courses in music theory, music analysis and guitar at SVSU.
Gibelyou started playing guitar at the young age of 12 after being gifted with an acoustic guitar.
“I took to it immediately and soon acquired an electric guitar, which I played in rock bands throughout middle school and high school,” Gibelyou said.
From there, Gibelyou went on to learn classical guitar in his college years after meeting Dr. Brad DeRoche, who Gibelyou said was a huge source of inspiration.
Gibelyou was able to share his skills acquired during those years of guitar playing at his recital performing a variety of repertoire he learned over the past year.
“I gravitated toward classical music that mixes styles of jazz and popular music,” Gibelyou said.
He said he was also influenced by his wife, Taylor, who also enjoys jazz.
Gibelyou noted, “The other part of that decision was my desire to return to the kind of musical elements that attracted me to music in the first place: rhythmic vitality, appealing melodies and interesting harmonies.”
Much of the music listed in the program comes from a period of 1940 to 1960. This is significant because of how guitar music flourished and the range of styles and sounds used for each piece.
Junior music performance major, Jacob VanBuren, shared how the performance influenced him.
“I could picture images in my mind along with the music as it was played,” VanBuren said. “It grabbed my attention, and it would be something I’d personally like to listen to on a playlist.”
Felicia Snyder, junior music performance major, went to the recital to support Dr. Gibelyou and enjoy the ability to attend a live concert again.
“My favorite part of the recital was the second half when he started playing Romantic Era and contemporary Brazilian pieces,” Snyder said. “I love the Romantic Period of music because of how expressive the composers are.”
Gibelyou’s personal favorite from his program was “Gebeth” by Johann Kaspar Mertz.
“It is the first guitar piece that I played for my wife, Taylor, when we first started dating,” Gibelyou said. “Taylor played a recording of this piece as her processional at our wedding this past summer.”
Gibelyou has continued enjoying this piece as it is special to him and his wife.
Gibelyou’s next performance will be at the First Presbyterian Church of Flint on Oct. 8 at 7:30 pm.