By Alec Matuszak
Arts & Entertainment Editor
Sophomore music education major David Elyaho was the man of the hour on Friday evening, Mar. 24, as he performed several pieces on both the violin and viola for a very supportive crowd of professors, family and friends. Elyaho looked relaxed – but focused – during his performance. He seemed to get lost in the music, which was evident in the effortless flow of his performances. One piece after another, Elyaho demonstrated his mastery of two orchestral instruments. Elyaho played a few lengthy pieces but kept the audience engaged throughout the night, each piece ended with roaring cheers and applause from his supporters.
If Elayho made any mistakes throughout his performance, they went unnoticed by the audience. The notes the violin and viola created through Elyaho’s bow floated effortlessly over the piano accompaniment. Several times throughout the hour-long performance, the piece seemed to be nearing its completion, only to pick back up again and maintain a fast tempo, until the actual ending.
Elyaho finished most pieces by increasing the tempo, only to slow down once more to end the piece with a brief pause, followed by two thunderous strokes of the bow which signaled the finale.
To the unexperienced listener, the difference between the viola and the violin may seem minute. For Elyaho, it did not matter which wind instrument he was playing. His mastery was on display despite the instrument he held in his hand.
Elyaho prepared for this performance over the course of two months. He believes this performance went well. “In every performance there is always room for improvement, but I think it was a great experience and will serve to be [very beneficial] in my musical development,” Elyaho said. Elyaho said the support of his family and friends and the music department “really pushes me to be my best.”
Freshman music education major and friend of Elyaho, Brandon Allen, plays with him in both the orchestra and string ensembles. “I always hear him practicing,” Allen said. “He’s so dedicated to his work; it’s so great,” he said. Allen was surprised to see a pianist play alongside Elyaho, which according to Allen, “blended it all together.”
Allen said of his friend, “Sometimes people think when you’re talented, you’re also conceited,” Yet, Elyaho “is so nice and willing to help everyone. It makes the experience so much better.”