Unash presents senior bassoon recital in GBPAC

ANTHONY WITHEROW, Staff Writer

When passionate musicians collaborate, people can often be treated to wonderful compositions and thrilling performances. Such was the case when music student Aaron Unash presented his senior bassoon recital on Feb. 17 in Davis Hall at Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center. Accompanied by faculty artist Robin Guy on piano, the brief performance consisted of three pieces. The event was free and open to the public.

The first piece performed was Antonio Vivaldi’s “Bassoon Concerto in E minor, RV 484.” The piece is cast into three movements. The first movement opens with the piano busy, fast-paced theme, after which the bassoon presents its version of it. The second movement slows the pace down and brings the tone to a more somber feel before introducing the third movement, which is as lively and busy as the first movement.

The second piece was José Siqueira’s “Three Etudes for Bassoon and Piano.” Like the first piece, this one was also cast into three movements. The first movement fluctuated in tonality, starting with a slower, more somber tone with many whole notes and shifting to a smooth, upbeat tone with many quarter and eighth notes towards the end. The second movement maintains a dark, drab tonality, despite the pitch ranging from high to low. The third movement is a complete contrast to the previous, with a much faster pace and upbeat tone, using many eighth notes before its abrupt ending.

The third piece performed removed the piano entirely and was strictly bassoon. Composed by William Davis, the piece “Serenade for Solo Bassoon” is one long solo not broken up into movements. The pace is very frenetic at first, but once it gets closer to the end, the pace begins to vary. The tonality and pitch constantly fluctuate throughout the 11 minute solo. This was more of a showcase of Unash’s bassoon expertise than the other two pieces.

Unash grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He plans to graduate this spring with a degree in general studies in music. He began playing bassoon in 6th grade at Harding Middle School.

At Kennedy High School, he was involved in many musical groups; he was in the drumline and frontline in marching band and played piano in jazz band and show choir. He was involved in the All-State Music Festival his junior and senior years, playing in the band and orchestra.

After graduation, Unash attended Kirkwood Community College for two years. He was involved in small chamber groups, concert band, jazz band and a steel drum ensemble. At UNI, Unash has been involved in Panther Marching Band, West African Drum Ensemble, Taiko Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble and NISO. Unash is also a member of the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Music Fraternity and volunteers with the Tallcorn Jazz Festival, helping out at their grilled cheese food cart.

Unash hopes to learn instrument repair after his time at UNI. He plans to attend Minnesota State College Southeast in Red Wing, Minn. for an instrument repair program.