Distinguished alumnus performs at alma mater

Peter Ellefson, class of ’84, performs Oct. 12 in Ice Auditorium. Ellefson won the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year for his achievements in music, as well as education. Ellefson is a professor at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University and lectures at Northwestern University and Roosevelt University.

Joel Ray/Senior photgrapher

Linfield College Distinguished Alumnus of the Year, Peter Ellefson, class of ’84, presented a trombone recital Oct. 12 in Ice Auditorium.

“It’s great to be back,” Ellefson said. “I played a lot of concerts here.”

In celebration of “Linfield’s Finest,” a gathering for alumni and others as part of the Homecoming events, the Linfield Alumni Association awarded Ellefson the designation of Distinguished Alumnus of the Year for his achievements in music and education.

Ellefson, a professor of music at Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, as well as a lecturer and artist-in-residence at Northwestern University and Roosevelt University, was accompanied by Debra Huddleston, adjunct professor of music in accompanying.

“The concept of the repertoire included in this recital grew out of my admirations for the French film composer, conductor and pianist, Jean-Michel Defaye,” wrote Ellefson in a recital pamphlet.

Joined by trombonist and Linfield alumnus Paul Paddock, class of ’84, Ellefson began the recital with a performance of Igor Stravinsky’s (1882-1971) short work, “Fanfare for a New Theatre” (1964).

“Stravinsky’s intention was that it be used as a short signal for patrons before a production by Lincoln Kirstein and George Balanchine at the New York State Theatre in the Lincoln Center,” wrote Ellefson.

Ellefson continued the performance with a collection of pieces from composers Jean-Michel Defaye (b. 1932) and Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), and included “Largo,” also known as the famous “Arioso” of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750).

After an intermission, Ellefson returned to the stage to finish the performance with pieces from Herbert L. Clarke, Rafael Mendez and Arthur Pryor.

Joan Paddock, professor of music from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and Emmy Award winner, joined Ellefson in a performance of Rafael Mendez’s “Lullaby,” in which she played the cornet and trumpet.

Ellefson intended to close the recital with variations on Arthur Pryor’s “The Bluebells of Scotland,” but was applauded to perform an encore performance.

“I want to end the night with a song that’s very dear to me,” Ellefson said before his final encore performance.

Ellefson played “Simple Song,” a piece played at the mass of Leonard Bernstein, an American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer and pianist.

Ellefson said Bernstein was “perhaps the greatest musician this country has produced.”

Ellefson’s solo CD, “Pura Vida,” was released in March 2010.

For more information, visit his website www.peterellefson.com.


Chrissy Shane

Features Editor

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