Pianist Peter Kelmelis performs from Carnaval, Op. 9. Photo by Anna Meassick

Students from the University of Rhode Island’s music department showcased their performance skills at the third music convocation of the semester.

Four acts performed in front of a crowd of about 60 students and faculty members in the Concert Hall at the Fine Arts Center. There were solo performances from student Pianist Peter Kelmelis, Alto Saxophonist Taylor DeBishop, and Violoncellist Faares Deeb.

The last performance of the afternoon was performed by the Pentawinds, who were missing a group member. Flutist Molly Vallee, Oboist Tyler Vanable, Clarinetist Adam Stevens and French Horn Player Jon Howe made up the group. All of the musician’s performances lasted between 5-12 minutes, then received a rousing ovation from the crowd afterwards.

Kelmelis opened up the convocation with the first performance of the afternoon. He graced the piano in an elegant manner, being supported by dark blue lighting behind him on stage.

After the performance, Kelemis shared what he thought went well with his performance.

“I felt more calm than I usually do in the first part that I played, so that was kind of nice once I got through just to play,” Kelmelis said.

Interestingly for the Pentawinds, they did not have hardly any time practice their piece. They only received the music a week before the performance. Still, the group was able to come together, even if the name of the group wasn’t exactly unanimous. They mentioned one of the names considered was “Daunting Dynamites,” which drew laughs from the crowds in a question and answer session that took part after the acts performed.

For Deeb, this was his third consecutive convocation appearance. Each presented different challenges for the cellist as he has performed in a trio, a duet and alone in the respective performances. In his most recent showing, Deeb wasn’t satisfied with the sounds of his chords, but he was able to solve the problem.  

“There’s a lot of chords in the piece I played, and usually they come out more muffled to my ear,” Deeb said. “This time I was able to get those more clear in terms of what the notes were supposed to sound like.”

Not only did saxophonist DeBishop play the notes that were on the page, he was able to enhance his performance by letting the music speak to him.

“I just tried to basically go with what the lines did naturally. I didn’t try to add a lot of my own ideas to it,” said DeBishop. “I kind of just tried to follow the musical lines and what was already there.”

The department of music is holding a convocation every Thursday from Feb. 14 to March 7 at the Fine Arts Concert Hall on the Kingston campus. Every one of the events starts at 12:30 p.m., and are free for students to attend.