UConn Department of Music students and faculty alike filled von der Mehden Recital Hall on Thursday with a repertoire of renaissance and baroque music composed by Dr. Eric Rice. Limited seating on stage with the group was offered, and those who arrived early enough to snag a spot were glad to share the stage with the artists. “I’m confident in the fact that this is going to be a great show,” said acting major Julia Estrada. “I didn’t realize these sorts of cultural musical outlets were available here, and I’m looking forward to the show,” said Matt Jones. The first half of the repertoire was a collection of pieces that ranged from operatic to ensembles singing in rondeau form. The pieces formed a connection and certain lines and solos were brought from one song to the next. The second half was chorale music coined by Martin Luther, reformed and recreated by his adviser Walther Luther and by Bach. Rice managed to lace these versions together in a series of solos and choral work backed by strings and Penny Brandt on the harpsichord. “It was really tough playing harpsichord,” said Brandt, a graduate student in the music department. “My main instrument is the piano. But it was fun to have the opportunity to learn, and this was my second time playing it. My first was a year ago.” Courtesy of Rice’s well-developed notes, the entire concert was a learning experience as well as an aural one. Each piece’s history unfolded through the notes and words of Rice and his conductor, Amelia Peterson, addressing the audience. “That was amazing,” junior and art major Brenna Morrissey said after the show. “The violin section was incredible, the vocals were tight. And Rice did a great job putting the program together.” “We started putting this together the second week of classes,” Rice said. “A lot of different things go into creating a selection like this. It’s part doctoral ensemble and part regular ensemble,” he added. “Everything sounded amazing, and the mood was great,” said sophomore and communications major Sadie Doyle. “I loved sitting on the stage, they should have this option for more concerts.” If you’re interested in catching show at von der Mehden, the University of Connecticut Chamber Orchestra is playing Sunday at 3 p.m.