“Out of the Depths”

A concert of new music by Andrew Ardizzoia

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Photo courtesy of Kristi Morris, Courtesy of the Muhlenberg Office of Communications | A snapshot from the concert in Egner Memorial Chapel

On Friday, Apr. 1 at 7:30 p.m., the music department presented “Out of the Depths: New Music by Andrew Ardizzoia” at the Egner Memorial Chapel. The event was free and open to the public.

The program included art songs, choral, piano, organ, percussion and chamber music. According to Andrew Ardizzoia, DMA assistant professor of music and director of composition studies, the name of the concert was derived from both the organ piece, a setting of the Lutheran tune “Out of the Depths I Cry to Thee,” as well as a milestone in the gradual return to in-person live music concerts following the worst phases of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I was struck by the incredible diversity of musical styles, concepts and instruments. Every piece was full of creativity and expression,”

-Will Howitt ’23

“The program is completely different from what it was supposed to be two years ago,” explained Ardizzoia. “Part of it was that I had written a ton of new music during the pandemic, especially the initial lockdown when I was stuck at home. A lot of what normally takes up time on campus was not happening, and I, like a lot of composers and also unlike a lot of composers, was in the right frame of mind to work.”

One of the highlights on the program was a setting of the text from Eugene Field’s “The Little Peach,” which was performed by the Treble Ensemble. Ardizzoia explained that the piece stood out because, as a composer with classical foundations, using a light-hearted, narrative-driven poem laid the groundwork for a humorous experience.

Treble ensemble singer Bethany Qian ‘25 said, “‘The Little Peach’ is such a fun text and Dr. Ardizzoia’s composition reflected it so well. Performing it with the Treble [Ensemble] was energizing and exciting, and it will live in my memory and my sheet music.”

“I wasn’t sure if ‘The Little Peach’ would work,” reflected Ardizzoia. “But it was neat to hear people laugh for the right reasons…It was one of those pieces where as soon as I read the poem, I could see the entire piece in front of me; I knew exactly what the sound world was. I knew exactly how I was going to bridge the gaps and everything.”

When asked about the highlights of the program, Ardizzoia spoke in detail about the aforementioned organ setting of “Out of the Depths I Cry to Thee.” Specifically, he explained that this performance by chapel organist Andrew Lutz-Long was so meaningful to him because he’d never heard the Egner Chapel pipe organ played as a concert instrument, and only previously heard it in the context of accompaniment, whether for choir or vocal soloists.

“I didn’t realize it [the pipe organ] had such capability, and of course, every pipe organ is different. You really have to get to know the instruments individually,” said Ardizzoia.

“it was neat to hear people laugh for the right reasons…It was one of those pieces where as soon as I read the poem, I could see the entire piece in front of me”

-Andrew Ardizzoia

“I was struck by the incredible diversity of musical styles, concepts and instruments. Every piece was full of creativity and expression,” said Will Howitt ‘23.

“It was really cool seeing how versatile of a composer Dr. Ardizzoia is,” said Joshua Myers ‘22. “Some of his music is funny and tonal, others are wacky and push the limits of tonality, and some, like his organ variations on a Bach chorale, are just plain cool.”

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