Senior's Westmont musical career culminates in recital
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Senior music major Erik Fauss performed his final senior recital the evening of Friday, March 23. From jazz to tango, Erik’s recital was a cumulative exhibition of his musical investment throughout his time at Westmont. Originally from Santa Rosa, California, Erik decided to switch to viola from violin during his senior year of high school to focus on viola as his main instrument at Westmont. However that does not mean he left his love for the violin behind. Erik continues to play violin, especially through the Westmont Jazz Band and other chamber groups.
When he first arrived at Westmont, Erik was confident in his music major but was also studying to double with pre-med. Erik eventually decided to drop the pre-med track during his sophomore year to allow more time to focus on his instrument and rehearsal. “I wouldn’t really have progressed as much as I’d like too. I evaluated: I would’ve loved to go into health sciences and I would’ve loved to go into music, which is what I’m better at. I just decided to go with what God gifted me with.” Nonetheless, Erik’s decision allowed him to invest chamber projects, jazz, choir for a brief time, and seek out opportunities beyond Westmont for developing his viola technique.
In the fall of his Junior year, Erik studied abroad with a third party program to Vienna, Austria. As the only student from Westmont, Erik and other American students were immersed in European society and culture through classes and living independently. Erik recalled in a recent interview, “I really developed a great sense of home there and I found a church and I got involved with the worship team and made really great friends and connections there. I took some lessons with some teachers that just really impacted my approach to music.”
Ultimately, Erik’s senior year recital encompasses musical partnerships — some that have lasted all four years — and styles he’s developed throughout his time at Westmont as well as expressing his love to perform. While Erik has performed a handful of recitals over the years at Westmont, each served a unique purpose. This recital opened with a lively jazz quartet Erik formed with Tim Beccue (bass), Jason Watts (drums), Jay Real (piano), and Sierra Farrar (violin) in a rendition of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” as well as “I Remember Clifford” and “Waltz for Debby.” The recital also featured a duet with his current instructor Dr. Miller and a vigorous string quartet arrangement of “Tango Ballet” by Astor Piazzolla.
After graduating from Westmont, Erik hopes to attend graduate school in possibly London or elsewhere in Europe. Otherwise, Erik may choose to join his parents on their missions in Berlin to help lead worship and then apply to schools. Erik also reflected, “I do want to use my music to spread the Gospel. [...] I recognize that I have a gift that not a lot people have of being able to play an instrument at a very high elite level. I could be a steward and bring an awareness to these people that may never hear or experience that level [...] whether that’s teaching at a university or playing a symphony or even directing an orchestra. I’m hoping to minister that way.”