-Warren Ertle, contributing writer
The James S. Sclater Chamber Series is currently in its fifth season since its start in 2010. The series was named after long-time Mississippi College music professor, Dr. Sclater, who is known as a prolific composer, clarinetist, and a member of the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame. He performed as a clarinetist in the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra for 29 years and was a professor of music theory and composition at Mississippi College for 40 years until his retirement in 2010. He is also a dear friend to current music department chair, Dr. Angela Willoughby, who performs in a small chamber ensemble with Sclater.
Chamber music is music written for smaller ensembles such as piano trios, brass quintets, and string quartets. The music is unique because it creates a more intimate environment than listening to a large choir or a full symphony orchestra. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe described chamber music, specifically string quartet music, as “four rational people conversing.”
Because of its intimate nature, chamber music has been described as “the music of friends.” Chamber music was initially written for amateur musicians to be played in their homes, but the Sclater Series brings in professional musicians from Mississippi College, the Jackson area, and across the nation.
In September, The Marta Szlubowska Ensemble performed the first of four concerts to be held this season. The next concert is on Oct. 31 and will feature the Mississippi Symphony’s brass quintet, “Capital Brass.” In January, the series will feature violinist Vince Massimino performing Vivaldi’s “Spring” from The Four Seasons. The series finale in February will feature different musicians from Clinton. Tickets for the Sclater Series are $20 and concerts will be held in The Jean-Pittman Willams Recital Hall located in the Aven Fine Arts Buliding.