This Saturday, July 14, and Sunday, July 15, Chautauqua will host the National Federation of Music Clubs’ Northeast Region Federation Weekend.
NFMC is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to music education and the promotion of creative and performing arts in the United States, according to Jeannine Morris, NFMC vice president of the Northeast Region.
The 12 states in the Northeast Region will be celebrating their 74th Federation Weekend at Chautauqua with a student recital at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 14, at McKnight Hall. The performers are students in Chautauqua’s School of Music who have received scholarships from four states in NFMC’s Northeast Region, from NFMC and from the Chautauqua Foundation.
Sean Fahy, a voice student who recently graduated from Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, said he wants people to keep attending and keep going to see performances.
“Sometimes that’s the only reason that we still have jobs,” Fahy said, “because there are a handful of people out there that do care for art in general so much, and see how valuable it is to society.”
Luke Wardell, who is going to play the second movement of Béla Bartók’s Viola Concerto for the recital, said “it’s amazing that (Chautauqua has) so much support for the students here.”
“I think a lot of people would be more hesitant or unable come to Chautauqua without these scholarships,” Wardell said, “and I think it’s very important and very appreciated.”
Wyatt Beekman, an oboist in the Music School Festival Orchestra, said that music festivals cost a significant amount of money. Beekman said he thinks the price “diminishes the opportunity” or “the desire to” attend.
Without the support of NFMC, students like Beekman may not have had the opportunity to come to Chautauqua for the summer.
Beekman said he is growing as an artist by being part of the MSFO and working with other competitive musicians.
“It is an intense program,” Beekman said. “You can’t autopilot here. You have to work very hard.”
In the NFMC recital, Beekman will be performing Solo for Oboe and Piano by Émile Paladilhe, a French Romantic composer, while Fahy will be singing the first four songs from the Dichterliebe by Robert Schumann.
“(Chautauqua) is a great place to foster musicality, artistry and also just grow as a person,” Fahy said, “to meet everyone that’s here and to get to know their story, and be able to sympathize with them, and also just talk about what you are passionate about with them.”
Fahy also said “it’s not always that easy” making a career out of singing art songs, but he is hopeful. He said he wants to keep doing what he loves.
“Because honestly, you are going to find people who love it just as much as you do, and you will impact them in the way that you want to impact people,” Fahy said.
Fahy said he is a firm believer that art has a “hand in every pot.”
“No matter what you can do … through art, through music, make an impact. It will affect somebody,” Fahy said, “whether it’s the person in the third row that is just enjoying the performance, or that art gallery owner that sees a piece of art that completely changes their concept of what art is and even what life is.”