On Friday afternoon, the National Music Museum had the first performance of their spring NMM Live! four concert series.
The performance, titled “Rebecca Zimmerman and Friends,” featured various USD faculty members as well as musicians from other areas.
Unfortunately, Rebecca Zimmerman was unable to perform due to illness. The performance featured Susan Keith Gray on the piano, Katie Smirnova playing the violin, Brett Walfish playing viola and Katherine Price singing.
Gray and Price are faculty members at USD. Smirnova and Walfish are both from Rapid City and work as artists for the Rushmore Music Festival.
Hannah Grantham, a graduate student at the National Music Museum, said every semester the museum puts on concerts through the South Dakota Fine Arts Association.
“We have a concert every month and we have been doing them since the 80s,” Grantham said.
Grantham said all the musicians are professional performers.
“Sometimes we are approached by musicians who wish to perform, and other times we may seek them out,” she said.
Krissy Blunck is a graduate student studying instrumental conducting. Blunck said she enjoys attending the concerts put on by the NMM because she is a musician. Blunck currently plays the bass, but will start taking cello lessons from Zimmerman next semester.
“My favorite instruments to hear are strings because I play in the orchestra,” she said.
Walfish, began the concert by playing “Bach’s Cello suite in D minor.”
“There are six Bach suites and many believe they symbolize the different stages of life,” Walfish said. “The suite I am playing has a little sadness to it, representing the teen years when many people experience loss.”
Price sang a piece that translates to an “ode to music.”
“The words in this song translates to ‘your holy art, you have lifted my soul from the dark depths to a higher place,’” Price said.
She chose to sing a song that means “a belief in spring.”
Gray accompanied the other musicians and played a solo piece. Gray played a piano from the NMM collection dating back to the 1850s.
“I really enjoy the experience to be able to play on these wonderful instruments and I want to thank the museum for allowing me to experience it,” Gray said.