Flute and Harp Concert at GSW

Published 12:19 pm Tuesday, October 3, 2023

A concert with flute and harp was held at Jackson Performance Hall on GSW on October 2nd, 7:30 pm. The event was well attended.
Mia Venezia played the harp and is pursuing a master’s in harp at Yale. Venezia has performed with the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra and The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra among others. Flutist Aimee Toner has performed with symphonies including the Norwalk Symphony and the Glens Falls Symphony. Both also teach music.
Several student ushers dressed in black greeted guests. The room began to fill as Mia tuned a harp, little shimmers of song dancing across the room. The light brown wood of the harp appeared near golden in the stage lights. Her dress was a splash pattern of pink, rust, and tealish blue that mimicked the medley she and Toner were about to play. The stage’s ruddy hue reflected a warm glow.
Toner joined her on stage, dressed in black, and accompanied Mia with the flute.
Sicilienne for Flute and Harp by Gabriel Faure evoked a meandering quality like listening to a stream, reminding me of seeing deer running through the woods or quiet moments spent watching water flow.
Song of the Lark by Charles Rochester Young brought forth images of wind and river, with a melancholy edge contrasted with the sharp piping of the flute, ending in a delicate finish on the harp.
Other songs included Danza de la Mariposa by Valerie Coleman, Nocturne in F for Flute and Harp by Robert Bochsa, Impromptu by Gabriel Faure, The Western East for Alto Flute, Harp by Yossi Hammi, and Fantasia No 12 for Solo Flute by George Phillip Teleman.
Several songs had impressive effects, designed to push the limits of the sounds a harp could create.
Venezia also played Suite Galactique for Solo Harp by Caroline Lizotte Ave. The first movement was described as mirroring molecules rising to further and further heights. The second, soldiers, with their teeth chattering in the cold. The third movement was reminiscent of a battle. Mia accompanied her harping with singing, beautiful and wordless.
Those gathered encored the performers, and they played Ave Maria by Astor Piazzolla.
Afterwards, there was a reception at the home of Julie Megginson and Sam Peavy for GSW Chamber Concert Series Patrons. Several patrons talked avidly with the performers, taking small plates from a charcuterie board. Mia talked about playing the harp for twenty years and experimenting with different materials to press the strings to attain the right effect for Suite Galactique, including plastic and cloth, the former being too harsh in its effects. Several patrons gathered around Toner, engaged in animated description.