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Concerts-on-the-Platte take center stage
Jessica Kenyon
Antelope Staff
Photo by Kevin Whetstone
Soprano Anne Forador (left) and saxophonist David Nabb shared the stage on Oct. 26 in the sixth Concerts-on-the-Platte performance of this semester. Both performers are UNK faculty members, currently teaching in the music department.

Ten years ago, Dr. Nathan Buckner, a professor in the music department since 1997, began Concerts-on-the-Platte, featuring full-scale recitals of UNK music faculty and guest artists.

When the recital series began, Buckner started making a few flyers to promote the event. That’s when he came up with the name Concerts-on-the-Platte. “I just needed something to put on the page at first, and then it kind of just stuck,” Buckner said.

When Concerts-on-the-Platte started, there were about half a dozen recitals a year. Since then the number has grown to almost 20. The ,first recitals weren’t very well attended and were also not very well advertised because of lack of funds, but attendance has grown since 1999.

Not all UNK faculty members participate, but each year more and more faculty members are inspired to get involved. “I think Concerts-on-the-Platte is a great series, and people should take much more advantage of them. It is great to see your professors perform and do what they love. It sheds a whole new light on the person you see up in front of the class every other day,” said sophomore music education major Paloma Mena-Werth of Kearney.

While the series doesn’t include student performers, there has been an increase in the number of performance majors and music students interested in presenting recitals themselves. The series has served to provide professional examples to the department’s growing enrollment.

Mena-Werth has found the Concerts-on-the-Platte series to be very helpful and inspirational. “I decided I wanted to teach band when I was in sixth grade and have never questioned my choice. I love music, I love working with people, and I think that music is one of the most important disciplines to share with young people. Since I grew up in Kearney, I have attended many Concerts-on-the-Platte recitals,” Mena-Werth said.

Concerts-on-the-Platte recitals can be made up of voice performances, along with chamber music, piano trios, violin, brass, cello and jazz recitals. Recently guitar and percussion recitals have also been added.

A concert consists of a group or entire orchestra while a recital consists of solo musicians, like in a Concerts-on-the-Platte event. There are times when a Concerts-on-the-Platte event includes more than one performer at a time. “The faculty does collaborate together for performances. Rehearsals are pretty intense, and it takes months of practice,” Buckner said.

Concerts-on-the-Platte recitals are always free, although they do accept donations that go towards paying guest artists.

Recitals take place in the Fine Arts hall on Monday nights at 7:30 p.m. The recitals usually last 90 minutes between stage changes and intermission.


Video by Holden Armstrong
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