French musicians to perform during series

The Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music is continuing its World Music Series with another performance on October 31.
Ensemble Variances, a group of musicians from France, are holding a concert on BW’s campus at 7 p.m that night.
Taking place in Gamble Auditorium, the ensemble will be performing a concert-ritual entitled “Walking in Beauty/The Beauty Way”, which, according to BW’s website, is a performance dedicated to the medicine and visions of the Navajo and Sioux branches of the Native Americans. Ensemble Variances’ performances are often characterized by the unique experience their music provides such as this.
According to the BW website, Thierry Pécou, the ensemble’s composer and artistic director, has created a performance comparable to attending a prayer service at a monastery.
The unique sounds and chants involved in the piece are meant to encourage meditation and focus.
Dr. Clint Needham, composer-in-residence and associate professor of composition at the Conservatory, added that Pécou will also be sharing the techniques he uses to compose his dramatic pieces with students at the Conservatory, specifically music composition majors.
“Thierry will present a masterclass for the composers on Wednesday, Oct. 31 from 3-4 and Ensemble Variances will hold a reading session for the composers,” said Needham.
Needham said that those involved in the readings include members of the composition program like junior Steve Chauvette and sophomore Nicholas Cantello.
Lesley Rudin, a sophomore viola performance major, is one student very interested in the upcoming performance.
“I had never heard of this ensemble before, but I researched them out a bit, and they seem really cool; the way the composer arranges their pieces is really intricate and super fascinating,” she said.
“Walking in Beauty/The Beauty Way” is also reflected in the chants of the famous German writer, composer and philosopher Hildegard von Bingen.
Born in 1098, Hildegard von Bingen became one of the first female composers, with many compositions to her name, including a morality play. Through her work, Hildegard challenged the norms of other Medieval compositions and still remains a hugely influential name within the music realm.
For more information about Ensemble Variances, visit the BW website at, or the group’s site at