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Piano concert to benefit Hurley Education Foundation Wednesday

 

Larry Holcombe

Alex Marciniak pauses at the piano at the Hurley K-12 School auditorium Monday afternoon. He will present a concert, a fundraiser for the Hurley Education Foundation, Wednesday at 7 p.m. He will play J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations.

HURLEY — Alex Marciniak will present a piano concert to benefit the Hurley Education Foundation Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. in the Hurley K-12 School auditorium.

The concert will include the Goldberg Variations by J.S. Bach, 30 variations on an aria theme in G Major.

While Marciniak, a instructor of speech, music and other fine arts at Gogebic Community College, has performed many of the variations in concert before, this is the first time he has presented the entire work.

“It’s very beautiful and demanding,” said Marciniak. “It was written for double manual harpsichord, so its more difficult on the piano with just one set of keys as the hands cross over each other. Some of the technique was revolutionary for the time.”

While the majority of the variations are in G Major, a few of them are in G minor recounting more emotion, according to Marciniak. One of the variations in the parallel minor key has been called Good Friday.

The variations, BMV 988, were written later in Bach’s life in 1741, while he was choral master at Leipzig. Bach lived from 1685-1750 and was also known for his masterful organ, orchestral and choral works, both sacred and secular.

Marciniak said while purists would play straight through the 30 variations, he plans to take a break after 15. He figures the concert will last about an hour and 20 minutes.

This is Marciniak’s fourth annual concert for the foundation, which funds projects at the school, according to foundation board member Jamey Francis.

The foundation has funded the purchase of Smart Boards for classrooms, as well as a mobile computer lab, band instruments, robots and fitness equipment.

Francis said the foundation is looking for ideas from students, staff and community about what the needs of the students are.

“I was became a member of the board as a student liaison member and stayed on after graduation,” said Francis, class of 2001. “I’d like to see another student named to the board.”

Mike Fauerbach is president of the foundation board. Gary Pelkola is vice chairman. Other members include Marty Lipske, Karen Secor, Angelo Luppino, Joyce Nelmark, Kelly Marczak and Dave Traczyk.

The board’s meetings are open to the open and occur on the third Wednesday of the month at noon in the school district office.