Shuler Performs Recital After Nearly Year-Long Preparation

The Chase photo: Matthew Dale

On Wednesday, Feb. 19, Sidney Shuler, an assistant professor of music at Eastern New Mexico University, put on a recital at Buchanan Hall in the Music Building. His program included four different music selections and collaborations on the pieces. Schuler’s collaborators included Kayla Paulk, a vocal coach and collaborative pianist at ENMU, who accompanied him on the piano in a few pieces; Tracy Carr, professor of music at ENMU, who performed the English Horn on one piece; and Mark Del Porto, another professor of music at ENMU, on the piano during one piece. This was Schuler’s third full faculty recital, but he mentioned he has collaborated with over half the faculty because he wanted to make it a point to collaborate with them.

Schuler said he believes it is important for the music department’s faculty to do recitals because it is important to “show them that the professors are constantly learning and developing themselves.” He also said that while he does enjoy teaching, he also needs the performance part of music; that is another driving force behind his recitals.

Shuler played four musical selections: “Sonatine” by Jacques Castérède, “Concertino in Eb a cinque strumenti” by Johann Georg Albrechtsberger, “Quiet City” by Aaron Copland and “Concerto for Trumpet” by Edward Gregson. Of these selections, the oldest was “Concertino in Eb a cinque strumenti” from 1771, and the latest was “Concerto for Trumpet” from 1983. Schuler had been preparing for this recital since last summer, when he first began to look at different selections. In the four weeks leading up to the recital, he said that he would play his entire performance three or four nights a week. He also said that preparing for a performance is “not just notes and rhythms, but the musicality; where to breathe.” He also said he rehearses so much because anything can happen in a pressure situation.

He said he chose music as a career when he was young. Although it came in waves of wanting to actually pursue music, he made the decision because music—trumpet, specifically—was going to be the only thing that challenged him. The decision first came as a child after his mom gave him a $1,300 trumpet for Christmas one year, and his music teacher and trumpet coach who taught him from elementary all through high school told his mother that he knew Shuler was ready for that.

One of his students, Dominique Barrera, was at the recital. Even though his students were required to attend, she said that it is “good for us to see trumpet performances” because it can help them with their own work. She also said she likes to come to performances because the ones at ENMU are “good-quality.”

Shuler has a Bachelor of Music in Education from Youngstown State University in Ohio, and a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Champaign, Illinois. Along with being a professor of trumpet at ENMU, he is also assistant director of bands.

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