McAllister Keller Duo performs at Cosumnes River College

The McAllister Keller Duo held a winter performance on Feb. 23 at Cosumnes River College, featuring guest artists and an array of musical performances

The McAllister Keller Duo is a guitar and composing duo featuring Dr. Derek Keller and Colin McAllister. They presented their acclaimed winter program, “Die Winterreise: A Winter’s Journey” in a show put on by the CRC Music Department. It was an event organized by Music Professor Kurt Erickson, one of the department’s lead professors and composers, as part of the CRC Guest Artists series.

“The CRC Guest Artist concerts provide opportunities for students to hear inspiring performances from professional artists,” said Erickson. “The goal is to create a cultural environment that is similar to what students experience at four-year colleges.”

The concert began with some guitar and vocal performances, with Keller and McAllister on guitar and Keller providing the vocals.

Some of the compositions performed included Renaissance pieces such as John Dowland’s “Fine Knacks for Ladies”, “Come, Heavy Sleep” and “Come Again.”

A performance of “Die Post” and “Der Leiermann” by Franz Schubert was sung by Keller as he was filling in for special guest Music Professor Omari Tau who could not perform due to sickness.

After intermission, the duo resumed the program with a performance of “Church Car” by Charles Amirkhanian, a vocal piece in which words are used to mimic the percussions of instruments.

Colin McAllister then performed a self-written solo piece titled “2001,” which he wrote for his wife in celebration of their two-thousandth day together.

Following a few more performances by Keller and McAllister, special guest Bernadette Mondok, soprano, took the stage to perform “Aria” by Heitor Villa-Lobos accompanied by McAllister playing guitar.

After a couple more pieces, the duo ended the show with “Jongo” by Paulo Bellinati.

Samantha Dedal, 18, a theater major said she really enjoyed the show and thought it was “fun” and “unexpected.”

“I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did,” she said.

Dedal said the second half of the show was the most enjoyable, especially performances such as “Church Car” and Mondok’s performance of “Aria,” which Dedal said was her favorite piece.

“People should come to these more,” said Dedal. “There’s definitely not enough people here. I think it’s really important to support artists and art. Even if you don’t think you’ll appreciate it, you definitely will. There is something there for everyone to enjoy.”

Dr. Keller said that the more events such as this that are put on the more they will “benefit the educational and artistic richness of the campus.”

In addition, Keller said that these kinds of events are not just to be enjoyed by music majors. He said that art communities, or any communities, can benefit from these kinds of events as they “make people think differently, make people feel things that they haven’t felt before and that only leads to greater wisdom and intelligence.”

“I don’t know what is better for the mind than different forms of art,” Keller said.

Professor Erickson said that people can absolutely expect more Guest Artists series events in the future.

The Guest Artist series is two years old, and the department has been able to expand from one concert per semester to two, Erickson said.

“We are building partnerships with our sister institutions at four year institutions, providing our students access to artists and teachers that they may have an opportunity to study with when they transfer,” said Erickson.”It is important to build bridges between our college and the area four-year institutions, and the Guest Artist series serves that purpose.”

To see what other events the CRC Music Department has in store for the semester visit the events calendar on the CRC website.