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Skidmore College

Abeshouse returning for 2-day residency

February 19, 2014
Abeshouse in action
Adam Abeshouse

Grammy Award-winning musician Adam Abeshouse returns to the Skidmore campus Thursday and Friday, Feb. 20 and 21, for a residency with music students.

He will give master classes and record and edit four Skidmore music ensembles. The resulting product will be used to create a promotional CD and DVD for Skidmore. Members of each group will also have a recording to keep and use to advance their careers.

Pola Baytelman, distinguished artist-in-residence, and Michael Emery, senior artist-in-residence, are the faculty members overseeing Abeshouse’s visit. Baytelman knows from experience about Abeshouse’s work – she and Jan Vinci, senior artist-in-residence at Skidmore, had their Zankel Music Center performances recorded by him. She says she has benefitted from his expertise.

In addition to his Grammy hardware (classical producer of the year and best classical instrumental solo performance), Abeshouse holds a master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music. Baytelman calls him a “unique, fantastic musician. It is very unusual for a recording engineer to also be a superb musician, at ease recording any style of music, any instrument, voice and ensembles.” She anticipates that the recording sessions will be “genuine master classes for the students participating.”

Emery added, “This is where science and art meet.”

Pola Baytelman by Phil Scalia
Pola Baytelman (Phil Scalia photo)

Students who will be recorded are four groups who were competitively selected by Charles Schneider, conductor of the Schenectady Symphony. They will be recorded at the following times:

--9:30 a.m. Feb. 20, Clarinet Quintet—Hannah Emery ’14, Eva Hagan ’14, Melia Coletta ’17, Casey Hill ’17, and Taylor Rich ’17. They will perform Tango and Chant d’amour by Isaac Albéniz, arranged by Bela Kovacs. Susan Martula is the quintet’s coach.

--3 p.m. Feb. 20, Duo Cello and Piano with George Dilthey ’16 on cello and Joseph Eisele ’17 on piano, performing Beethoven’s Variations on a Theme from Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Baytelman is the duo’s coach.

--9:30 a.m. Feb. 21, Violin, Cello, and Piano trio of Emily Abeshouse ’14, piano, Makeda Diggs ’17, violin, and Dilthey, cello, will perform Schubert’s Piano Trio in B flat, Andante un poco mosso. Emery is the trio’s coach.

--2:30 p.m. Feb. 21, Skidmore Vocal Chamber Ensemble, conducted by Katie Gardiner, performing Benjamin Britten’s Hymn to St. Cecilia.

Abeshouse’s schedule also includes a visit to Anthony Holland’s recording technology class, to discuss technical issues of recording. Explained Baytelman, “Adam will meet with the class to explain his process and magic. As he works, he will discuss technical, acoustical, and musical requirements for the engineer and artists during the set-up, the recording session, the editing, and the breakdown of the set. The students will be able to watch the beginning of the next recording session that follows their class.” The class will meet in the Beckerman studio while the recording is taking place in Ladd Concert Hall. It will be a unique opportunity for the students to get real sense of the recording process.

Michael Emery
Michael Emery

Baytelman and Emery consider the residency to be a remarkable opportunity for Skidmore musicians. Said Baytelman, “Adam is both a recording engineer, a musician (violinist) and a coach. It is unusual for one person to have all these skills.

Because he knows the recording process as both technical wizard and artist, he knows how to work with musicians. Said Emery, “As artists we know that the process of making a recording is daunting. We have been talking about the technical and artistic aspects with the students.  They are excited, but they are all very good students, having been through a competition to make it to this point.”

There will be zero tolerance for mistakes. Said Emery, “We have explained that there are no wrong notes at this point in time. They must be completely prepared and ready.” Baytelman added, “This high level of preparation raises the level of performance that they will present.”

Both agree that an experience like this can help a student’s career.

Abeshouse, father of Filene Scholar and pianist Emily ’14, is very familiar with Skidmore’s Music Department and the Arthur Zankel Music Center. In 2013 he recorded the piano concert in Zankel by the Five Browns, who performed Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring to mark its 100th anniversary. The performance was held in collaboration with SaratogaArtsFest. In 2012, Abeshouse led the first Abeshouse Recording Residency at Skidmore. Please click here to read more.

Participating vocal chamber ensemble members are the following:

Peter Beiser ’15, Kirsten Brink ’14, Mike Coffel ’14, Tommy Corcoran ’14, Charlotte Cramer ’15, Emma Goldberg Liu ’14, Angelo Gonzalez ’15, Jillian Greenspan ’17, Ian Gregory-Davis ’17, Eliza Hollister ’15, Sara Hughes ’17, Hunter Hupp ’16.

Also, Becca Lipstein ’17, Harrison Lipton ’17, Jonathan Lynn ’16, Jack Mallory ’15, Luke Maschinot ’14, Eliz McCormack ’16, Laura Pendleton ’14, Travers Ruel ’16, Tory Waldron ’15, Carolyn Wolf ’16, Jessica Aleman ’15, Ben Bechand ’14, Aimee Fried-Hardy ’14.

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