Jan 27, 2023

February 3 faculty recital features compositions by Dordt alumnus

A recital presented by Dordt University music faculty will feature music composed by Dordt alumnus Jonathan Posthuma. The faculty recital will take place on Friday, February 3, at 7:30 p.m. in the B.J. Haan Auditorium.

Posthuma is a 2012 graduate of Dordt. A freelance composer living in St. Paul, Minnesota, Posthuma received a Master in Music Composition degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where he studied with Stephen Dembski and Laura Schwendinger.

“I am excited and honored to be a featured composer for the faculty recital,” says Posthuma. “In many ways, this concert is a retrospective on my 10 years of composition work since graduating from Dordt.”

Many Dordt faculty will participate in the recital. Associate Professor of Music Dr. Carrie Groenewold will perform Fantasia on Genevan Sixty-Five on organ. Accompanied by Interim Director of Choral Activities Dr. Rob Hobgood, Music Instructor Pam De Haan will sing “A Prayer,” “Morning News,” and “Cave Dwellers” – all songs inspired by Professor Emeritus of English David Schelhaas’s “Poems I Found on My Way to Work.” Music Instructor Darren Van’t Hul will sing “July” and “Sages in Spring” from Seasons: Five Poems of Louis Jenkins, with De Haan accompanying. Music Instructors MaryLou Wielenga and Lois Vander Zee will perform hymn arrangements on piano, and Music Instructor Stephanie Kocher will perform Cottage Flowers on solo flute.

To Posthuma, composition is an act of devotion.

“I dedicate myself fully to the music material at hand to compose and present it at its best. But it is also an act of devotion to the future performer who will inhabit that musical space. There are many pieces that I’ve written simply because I enjoy experimenting and exploring, but I always try to keep the performer and audience in mind to balance my broad imagination with the practicalities of performance.”

Posthuma’s compositions have a range of difficulty both as performer and audience.

“They might be difficult to perform or difficult to listen to, but they always have depth and meaning,” he says. “I want the audience to connect with the music and use it as a window to think more deeply about something – a painting, a poem, a hymn tune. Some of the hymn arrangements, for example, may appear simple on the surface but have deep emotions or musical journeys within them. Some of the more complicated pieces may appear impenetrable at first, but always have an open door inviting the audience into the experience.”

To learn more about Posthuma and his work, visit https://www.jonathanposthuma.com/.

About Dordt University

As an institution of higher education committed to the Reformed Christian perspective, Dordt University equips students, faculty, alumni, and the broader community to work toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life. Located in Sioux Center, Iowa, Dordt is a comprehensive university named to the best college lists by U.S. News and World Report, The Wall Street Journal, Times Higher Education, Forbes.com, Washington Monthly, and Princeton Review.

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