University of Lynchburg students and others from the surrounding area had the opportunity to learn from Grammy Award-winning cellist Zuill Bailey, who conducted a master class in Sydnor Performance Hall on Friday, March 1.
One of the Lynchburg students who worked with Bailey was Colin Coviello ’20, a music education major who has been playing the violin for 17 years. Coviello, who also serves as Lynchburg’s concert master, performed movement one from the Bruch Concerto in G minor. Then Bailey worked with him on certain aspects of his performance — or as Bailey described it, on his “rhythm and gravitas.”
During his time with Coviello, Bailey emphasized, among other things, the importance of wowing your audience from the very first note. “The first 30 seconds of a concerto is where you get your peacock feathers up or you don’t,” he said, adding, “I would not luxuriate much in the beginning.”
For Coviello, it was a good experience. “I learned a lot about tone production and how to use performance techniques to overcome nerves,” he said. “Playing for Zuill Bailey was awesome. The way he conducted the master class was very nice [and] he made the experience enjoyable for both the student and the audience.”
Bailey’s visit was part of a four-day residency with the Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra, during which he performed and conducted master classes at several area venues. The master class at University of Lynchburg was arranged through the LSO and Erika Mork, the symphony’s executive director and an adjunct professor of nonprofit leadership studies at Lynchburg. Her husband, Dr. Takashi Maie, is an assistant professor of biology.
“In addition to being a world-class performer, Zuill Bailey is a phenomenal teacher,” Dr. Kara Dean, a violinist and assistant professor of music at Lynchburg, said. “He shared insights with our students that reinforced what their private teachers work on in lessons.”