Kent State oboe professor performs in ‘Romance and Rhapsodies’ concert


Members of the Cleveland Orchestra performed the opening number of “Romance and Rhapsodies”, the second concert of the Kent/Blossom Summer Music festival, in the Ludwig Recital Hall on Wednesday, July 11. The concert included Three Romances by Clara Schumann, Two Rhapsodies by Loeffler and B major Piano Trio by Brahms. Photo by Jenna Watson.

Meghan Caprez

Danna Sundet, assistant professor of oboe at Kent State, performed in the “Romance and Rhapsodies” chamber concert with members of the Cleveland Orchestra July 11.

Sundet, who is also co-artistic coordinator of the Kent/Blossom Music Festival, performed a piece by composer Charles Martin Loeffler in the festival’s faculty series.

“It’s a really great feeling to play with such great players,” Sundet said. “It makes it fun. When I’m sitting up there, I’m so happy because that’s what my heart loves to do.”

She and the five members of the Cleveland Orchestra who performed in the concert coach students from across the globe on the performance of chamber music. The faculty series serves as an example for students to observe professionals performing the music they will be playing throughout their careers, Sundet said.

“It’s really important to learn from your inspirers,” said Sarah Lee, a viola player in the program from Indiana University. “They teach you, but it’s a learning experience to see how they perform. It shows the students how to perform, and it sets an example.”

Justin Bannon, a Kent State oboe performance graduate working as stage crew for the Kent/Blossom Music Festival, said a benefit of seeing the teachers perform is hearing unique interpretations of chamber music pieces.

“The arts are an amazing thing,” Bannon said. “No matter what kind of music you might have, there’s only so many interpretations; that is, individualized by each person. So you might hear the same piece every time, but it’s a little bit different. It’s a human aspect, from one human to another. That’s really amazing.”

The six performers began practicing for the concert a week before the event but were interrupted by an injury to violist Stanley Konopka. Konopka sliced the middle finger on his left hand on a razor. Sundet said it’s the finger viola players use the most when performing.

As Sundet was searching for a backup violist, Konopka was asking his fellow viola players for solutions to his problem. Konopka decided he would perform, but he had to super-glue his finger shut, Sundet said.

“We said, ‘Even if you have blood running down your hand, we’re going to keep playing,’” Sundet said.

Konopka fortunately performed in the concert without the glue coming undone.

Students who are not involved in the Kent/Blossom Music Festival are encouraged to attend the concerts in both the faculty series and the student series, Sundet said.

“Non-musical students need to come to these concerts,” Sundet said. “They have one of the world’s best chamber music festivals right here under their noses. They need to come, because it’s amazing. It’s like having the Olympians at your university. They need to know about it.”

Contact Meghan Caprez at [email protected].