By David Seaman
There is never a dull moment for professor of music Christopher Bade. Tonight he will be featured in his first recital on campus since his return from sabbatical, which he took during the fall 2012 semester. He has returned to Taylor with fresh ideas and prospects for the Music Department.
Bade visited college and high school orchestra programs across the nation during his sabbatical last fall. "I was looking for the best practices in scholarship programs," Bade said. He was particularly interested in finding commonalities that could be incorporated at Taylor. "Some places were unique," he said. "There was good teaching in the places I visited."
Bade did more than just visit schools, however. He had work to do.
"Bade is a consummate musician," said fellow professor of music Leon Harshenin. "He is very collegial and musically expressive." Harshenin said Bade is always the first to volunteer to do the "dirty dishes," the hard stuff. "He is very much servant-hearted," Harshenin said.
Bade put that servant heart to work during his sabbatical. He recorded a CD entitled "Contest Pieces" which contains musical pieces of his choosing. The works are designed for advanced high school and college students to play for contests or jury exams, which are samples of works accomplished during a semester.
Bade's goal is to distribute the CDs free of charge to band directors and interested students. He made 500 CDs to distribute to music ministers over the summer, and all were gone within a couple of months.
Bade has already made 400 CDs for the Taylor campus and is in the final stages of editing them. He plans to give them out for free as an educational tool.
Now that his sabbatical is done, Bade plans to focus on his work for this semester. As director of the Symphony Orchestra, along with teaching private lessons for clarinet and saxophone, he has a lot to do.
"Even with some students studying abroad and a few with class conflicts, we have pieces to perform this semester," Bade said. The orchestra will be performing some big compositions this semester: three of Brahms's Hungarian Dances, Beethoven's Symphony No. 1 and a movement from the Bach Concerto for Two Violins. The concert date is April 29.
Bade is immediately jumping back into performance on campus as well. As part of tonight's recital Bade will perform selections from "Concert Pieces." Additionally, he will perform as part of the Trio Cantabile with Harshenin on piano and Kyung-Nam Oh on cello.
Even with all that he has to accomplish on campus, Bade makes time for music outside of Taylor. He plays in the Marion Philharmonic Orchestra and occasionally for the Muncie Symphony. During the summer Bade plays with the Kokomo Park Band.
But for now, Bade is focused on tonight's recital. It is more than just professional for him. "I love the chance to make music together with just the faculty, keeping that musical spirit alive," Bade said. "I love being able to connect with my chosen medium with people who are just as passionate about it as I am."
Bade said Taylor has much to offer musically. "Some of the students still don't know the variety of possibilities here on campus," he said. "Here at Taylor there are hundreds of free concerts. I want to spread the word."
Bade's passion for his profession is evident. The music department, as well as Taylor as a whole, is glad to have him back.
Trio Cantabile will perform at 7:30 p.m. tonight in the Recital Hall. Admission is free.