Micah Gillespie’s Piano Recital Highlights
Performing with vigor, Micah Gillespie recently gave his senior piano recital. Burckart Hall was filled with family and friends showing their support for Gillespie. Showcasing his diverse abilities on piano, many collaborations with friends made this recital a very special event. Adding to that, Carol Ruffin comments, ”The variety of moods and instrumental combinations was constantly engaging. Micah’s piano duets had particularly excellent togetherness and ensemble.” Having a heart for church music, Gillespie also included selections of his own sacred arrangements—a testament to his desire to minister.
Available are photos from this event as well as highlights from Gillespie’s recital below.
Danse Macabre in G minor, Op. 40, Saint-Saens
Charity Talosig, piano
Micah and Charity Talosig became fast friends when they discovered they had a mutual love of piano improvisation. Micah recalls he knew four years ago that they would have to play a duet together in his recital, and he has looked forward to it ever since.
“Danse Macabre” depicts skeletons waking up and dancing along to violins which are out of tune. Listen to the clock strike midnight in the beginning of this piece, then the violins trying but failing to tune. Jolting and eerie chords are a constant theme in this piece. Imagine a group of disjointed and brittle skeletons trying to move along with the music. This piece grows and grows until a rooster abruptly crows, signaling it is time for the skeletons to quietly creep back to where they came from.
It is Well, arr. Gillespie
Micah Gillespie writes, “One particularly rough day this last summer while sitting at the piano, the song ‘It Is Well’ came to mind; this arrangement was the result. It has become the piece I play when I need to calm down or de-stress. The comforting truths in the lyrics remind me Who is in control of every storm in my life, and I pray that you will find similar comfort knowing that because of God we can always say, ‘It is Well.’”
Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488, Mozart
Aleisha Beachell, piano
Micah loves rich harmonies and dramatic melody lines. During a piano lesson, Micah and his teacher, June Brus, came across this concerto. Micah immediately knew that he wanted to play the second movement because of its immense expression. Micah notes, “The harmonies were far ahead of their time when Mozart composed this piece. Each note is written with perfect precision.” Regarding this piece, Brus often exclaims, “There isn’t a single note in this piece I would think of changing.”
Grace Medley, arr. Gillespie
“My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
Gillespie writes, “Without God’s grace I simply wouldn’t be here today. I knew I wanted to play a hymn featuring God’s grace, and it just so happens I have always loved the hymn ‘Wonderful Grace of Jesus.’ Not only is the song super fun to sing and play in church, but the lyrics carry a powerful truth. In arranging this piece, I wanted to give an old and familiar hymn a fresh sound but keep the fun and powerful melody intact. Wedged in between the verses of ‘Wonderful Grace of Jesus’ are the hymns ‘Grace Greater than Our Sin’ and ‘Amazing Grace.’ The lyrics in all three of these pieces complement each other so well. It is my goal that this medley of pieces reminds you of just how powerful God’s grace is.”
Micah Gillespie’s piano recital was prepared under the direction of June Brus and is given in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Bachelor of Music Degree with concentrations in Piano Pedagogy and Church Music.