Professors utilize historical instruments to perform for local community

A trio of Marshall University faculty members will bring classical music back to life with historical instruments during a performance at Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church Sunday, Oct. 20.

“The idea is that music actually sounded different in the time of composers two and three hundred years ago, and so we’re trying to recapture what it really sounded like in the time of the composers,” said Stephen Lawson, a Marshall professor and horn player in the H.I.P. Trio. 

The H.I.P. in H.I.P. Trio stands for Historically Informed Performance. It features Stephen Lawson on horn, Richard Kravchak on oboe and Kay Lawson on bassoon. 

“We’ve performed together, but this is our first venture just as a trio with the three of us,” Stephen Lawson said. “We have a similar interest in keeping these historical instruments going. There aren’t a lot of opportunities so we kind of have to create our own.” 

The event will take place at 3:00 p.m. at Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church, located at 513 10th Street in Huntington. The event is free and open to the public.

“It’s a wonderfully live acoustic space and it’s just a different venue than being on campus,” Stephen Lawson said. “We find that different attracts different audiences and we’ve performed on campus enough but getting out into the community helps attract a wider audience.” 

The trio will be performing works by Karl Graun, Carl Stamitz and Joseph Fiala during the performance. 

 “Some of it is music that we found was written for the instruments,” Stephen Lawson said. “Some of the pieces were originally written for other trios, for example a violin, horn and cello.”

The trio will be performing with historical instruments that were used during the time period their set music was composed. 

“We enjoy the challenge that goes in playing these,” Stephen Lawson said. “The instruments are quite different than the modern instruments and it’s like taking on a challenge every time you play.” 

Lawson said he encourages people to come out and view the performance because live music can be a great experience.

“You’ll get to see the magic of live music making and see us mostly successful with the challenges of playing these old instruments,” Stephen Lawson said.

Summer Jewell can be contacted at [email protected]