Near the end of his presentation, Leich noted the time signature
changes throughout the piece. He demonstrated by clapping the resulting
He opened it up to the floor to hear other opinions. Arsani said the
orchestra did not conform to a typical Western style. She said it was
nice to hear a piece that sounded true to its cultural origins.
2 p.m. - Chamber Ensemble
After a morning of history and theory, she was finally ready to play
her cello. Arsani stopped by her locker in the music building to get her
Her last class of the day was rehearsal
time with her quartet members — Marius Sander (violin), Erin Gartland
(violin) and April Beard (viola). Led by Stomberg, they were working on
"String Quartet No. 7 in F-sharp minor" by Dmitri Shostakovich.
They sat in a circle with their stands and pages of sheet music in
front of them. Arsani lightly tapped her black boot as she waited for
her entrance. Stomberg intently followed the score on his device while
the quartet played.
Of course it was not perfect. Whenever Arsani made a mistake, she flashed a sheepish smile, but quickly refocused and moved on.
Stomberg offered his critiques. On that run through, the players were
a bit out of sync. They went through it again, but something was still
How does this section of the music make you feel, Stomberg asked.
Nostalgic, Arsani responded. He asked them to try and evoke those
emotions while they play.
“As a group, you want to think about what are we getting at here,” Stomberg said.
After her classes, Arsani had Symphony Orchestra rehearsal. The
orchestra met on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
In previous years she would reserve late nights for more practice
time since her days were jam-packed. As a senior, she has more time to
herself. Now, she normally finishes up any lingering class work and has
Impacting the world through music
Most people in the music department know who Arasani is. They admire
her ability to not only see a need, but also act toward a change.
While at UD she helped develop the annual Women in Music concert series, whose mission is to highlight music created by women.
“As musicians we just play a lot of music by men. Especially older,
dead men — we always say,” Arsani said. “ So something I’m passionate
about is getting new music out there and music by women because it’s not
something we always hear about.”
The largely student-run effort, takes a lot of organization. As the
president of UD’s College Music Society, Arsani took on a lot of the
responsibility to put the program together.
Her efforts have not gone unnoticed.
“She wants to help make where she is a better place and to acknowledge things that need to be better,” Stomberg said.
This is in addition to her own
school work. She’s not filling a requirement or doing any of this for
credit, he said. She really cares.
“She does it because she feels its important and she’s passionate
about it,” Stomberg said. “That’s what I think has brought her to be a
leader because people recognize that and recognize that she’s genuine.”
Other faculty members agree. Last year, Arsani won the De Martini
Award — given by the faculty to an upper class student who demonstrates
humanitarianism, professionalism, integrity and unselfishness.
After graduation, Arsani joined the UD Symphony Orchestra on a 12-day tour of China,
culminating with a performance at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center. She
plans to take a year off from school, so she can continue to practice
and take some time to build up her composition portfolio. Afterward, she
would like to apply for graduate programs.
Her dream is to change the world
through music. What drives her is the power of music to rouse feelings
and help people connect with their emotions, she said. That’s what
propels her love for certain music and artists.
“If I want to feel like a diva, I listen to some Beyoncé. If I want
to go into my core deep deep feelings I listen to Iranian music,” Arsani
said. “It’s just so powerful.”
And that’s what she wants to do for others.
“When you listen to something you feel something, whether you want to
or not,” Arsani said. “It's just that’s the power of music and I think
right now we live in a world where a lot of bad things are happening and
the one common ground we all have is music. So, that’s why I do what I
do every day.”
Article by Carlett Spike; photos by Evan Krape