Sunday, April 29, 2012

Valerie Bobinger

                Say a word. Show an idea. Raise a child in a space shaped by an engineer and a classically trained oil painter and let the child grow toward her interests.
                Valerie Boebinger’s childhood was guided by her artist-mother and her mechanical engineer -father– two parents dedicated to different, inviting careers. When it was time for Valerie to choose a college and an area of study she was still tossing art and engineering in her mind. She began college tours from her home in Florida with a zigzag trip that brought her eventually to beautiful downtown Alfred.
                A parent of Valerie’s best friend in high school attended Alfred University and he encouraged Valerie to visit. When she saw the program in neon glass, she was “completely blown away.”                 The art program and facilities in Alfred were superior to all others on her college tour and she just had to come to school here. Her path was settled for 4 years.
                Now Valerie is graduating with a BFA in Art and a minor in music. This is your invitation to hear her as a member of the Alfred University Symphonic Band on April 27 and see her thesis show on May 5.
                Valerie came to music early in life when she toddled off to piano lessons at age 4. She developed a love for the majestic cello but her school had no string program. When Valerie heard Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue when she was in 4th grade she decided on the clarinet, started lessons in 5th grade and now hopes to continue to play in community groups after she graduates.
                At AU, Valerie has played with the Symphonic Band every semester and sometimes has also been a member of Orchestra and/or Chorus. Symphonic Band is conducted by Dr. Christopher Foster, a man of sound effects and an all-knowing ear.  Regarding her conductor, Valerie said, “Dr. Foster is a great conductor. People really respect him. If a conductor is uncharismatic the band suffers but with Dr. Foster we don’t worry about that. Everyone appreciates his attention to detail.”
                Valerie’s favorite pieces for this concert are Vesuvius by Frank Ticheli and Symphony Number 1, “The Lord of the Rings”, V “Hobbits” by Johan de Meij.
                “Vesuvius just sounds amazing,” said Valerie. “I love the dynamic and meter changes and the building, swelling sound that dies to nothing and then builds again. Then there is “Hobbits” bouncing with happiness and I have this insanely high part that is fun to wail on.”
                Regarding the concert, Dr. Foster said, "The Symphonic Band is more incredible than ever. I have a lot of talented players, including several seniors that I'll be sad to see leave. We're doing some tough yet exciting pieces like Ticheli's Vesuvius, Holst's First Suite in E-flat for Military Band, and 'Hobbits,' from De Meij's First Symphony, The Lord of the Rings and the band is doing a fantastic job with them."
                 Valerie actually came to Alfred to study art. She sees art as a self expression. It’s about a process, not a product. She expresses herself visually. For her senior thesis she has been working on a series of Zen paintings to show the images of some of her favorite music.
                Just before she started this series she was feeling stressed so she painted straight lines in a meditative activity working up to 9 consecutive hours on a piece and really getting lost in the work.
                She liked these geometric pieces, liked the sharp lines in them. One has a sense of piano keys and others relate to her feelings for musical compositions the Bach Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. She shows how the pieces would look as paintings. She also painted Rhapsody in Blue, still one of her favorite pieces.
                These paintings will be included in her senior show. They are all painted in the same size and shape – orderly – contemplative - serene. Valerie’s show will be in Binns hall, in the Painting classroom #134.
               The concert is on Friday, April 27 in the Miller Theater, Miller Performing Arts Center at 8 PM. The Symphonic Band will also perform Jungle Dance by Brain Balmages, Russian Sailors’ Dance by Reinhold Gliere, Ammerland by Jacob de Han, and Dusk by Steven Bryant.

**For community members unfamiliar with the Alfred University Campus: Enter the campus at the traffic light on Main Street. Drive uphill past the old gym on the left and turn left just after the large boulder. Miller is the building just before the road turns right. Notice the tall glass doors before you turn left again for parking. No tickets are needed.
**Community members are also welcome at Senior Thesis Shows on Saturday May 5, opening from 4 to 7 PM. Shows are in Harder Hall. Binns Hall, the Cohen Center and the Brick. Again, there are no tickets but much of the work is for sale. You’ll find maps on campus or just follow the crowds. Carpool if possible.