Southeast Missouri State University student publication

A Sonic Journey: River Campus recital reunites a mentor and mentee

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Love for the French horn brought together two professors from across the country for a performance, Oct 4, at River Campus.

Dr. Nicholas Kenney, assistant professor of horn and assistant director to the athletic bands at Southeast, put together a program of modern pieces with the help of his friend and mentor Dr. Alan F. Mattingly, professor of horn at the university of Nebraska.

Kenney said the idea of throwing this concert came out of nowhere during a phone conversation last spring. He also said they practiced twice together for the pieces they were performing jointly.

Southeast choral activities director, Dr. Barbara K. Lamont, played the piano throughout the performance

The program opened with a piece titled “Saga”, by James Naigus.

“It's a really cool piece because it features the horn as the solo instrument, but the accompaniment is a fixed media soundtrack.” Kenney said.

The performance continued with a piece titled “Sherwood Legend” written by the Canadian composer Elizabeth Raum. Mattingly said the fact that she and his wife share the same nationality was a factor for including the piece in the program.

Mattingly said the third piece titled “A Place of Color and Silence” was written as a duet for him and his wife by a composer friend and colleague.

Sara Thompson, a pre-physical therapy major at Southeast, said her favorite piece was “A Place of Color and Silence”.

Cody Phillips, a cybersecurity major student at Southeast Missouri State University, said he attended the concert for the purpose of writing a concert report. He also said he loves the French horn and instrumental music, or anything that resembles theme music.

“My favorite part of the recital was the beginning and the end,” Phillips said. “The first song sounded like it was from an adventurous, exploration movie, so that made my internally excited. Finally, the last song was also very lively and entertaining.”

Kenney and Mattingly’s mentor and mentee relationship started in 2001 when Kenney was an undergraduate student at Western Carolina University.

"I remember we were trying to recruit, and I think my wife and I took him to the local Subway,” Mattingly said. “That's how you recruit a student, you buy him lunch."

The two doctors said they performed together on stage on countless occasions. Mattingly’s most memorable one was in Australia. Kenney had another opinion.

“This particular concert is special to me because he taught me how to do what I do, not just playing and teaching and everything else, but who I am and all that stuff,” Kenney said. “So, the fact that I have this job, that I work here and do this stuff with all the students is directly related to what he does, and it's really cool to be able to have him come into my place of work and be on stage with me in front of my colleagues, my peers, my students and our community as well.”