Wide-Ranging Talent at Student Music Recital

This weekend, on Sunday, February 20, two musical student recitals were held on campus. The first was the piano, voice, and organ recital, situated in the Chapel, at 1:00 p.m. The second was the instrumental recital, taking place in the Recital Hall at the Paul Mellon Art Center at 2:30 p.m. The two student recitals, although musical, created very different atmospheres. The piano, voice, and organ recital allowed vocalists to shine, focusing on the melody rather than harmony of musical pieces. The instrumental recital however, allowed musicians to excel in their polished pieces.

Students have been preparing for these recitals since the beginning of the term. The piano, voice, and organ recital featured specific pieces selected by the students and their private lesson instructors, tailoring the tune to the personal likes of the various singers. The group on Sunday consisted of Katharine Li ’17, Catherine Toms ’17, Becca Rubright ’17, Scott Romeyn ’18, Alice Volfson ’19, Steven Jiao ’19, Andrea Qi ’17, Joyce Tan ’17, and Jesse Lage ’19, all in Chamber Chorus. Ms. Kegel states, “The repertoire was chosen in a collaboration between the private instructor and the student. However, the pieces with students who are performing collaborations or do Chamber Music are specifically chosen by Mr. Phil Ventre of myself.”

Students and teachers gathered to watch their friends perform. Angelina Heyler ’18, who took part in the recital, stated, “I really enjoyed working on my piece. I was able to learn new notes, and start a repertoire with a new sense of musical expressiveness.” However, for her, that was not the most rewarding process of the recital. Heyler added, “In the recital, it was amazing to see my peers perform. I especially liked Andrea Qi’s piece. The music was representative of a social butterfly, and the different sections, of the composition, explored different personalities within people.”

Most students who performed in the piano, voice, and organ recital conveyed the artistic freedom the performance allowed. Jesse Lage ’19, a member of chamber chorus said, “This might sound weird, but I enjoyed getting to memorize the lyrics of the composition and singing it without any music. I was given more freedom in the expression of the song. I was able to interpret it to become my piece.” The recital was a merger of different individuals. Becca Rubright ’17 says, “We prepared the pieces on our own, with our instructors, then we came together to perform what we have each been working on. It was not much of a collaboration, but a showcase of individualities.”

The Instrumental Recital at 2:30 was held in the Recital Hall. Crowds of people attended the performance, witnessing the different musical talents amongst our peers. David Park ’17, who plays the piano, said, “The audience should look forward to the diversity of instruments, such as harp, as well as appreciating all of the students’ hard work and mature musicality.” He talks about his own performance; “My piece is the Café Music Movement 2 by Paul Schoenfield for violin, piano, and cello. The performance has been in the works for the whole term. We meet for weekly rehearsals that last an hour, as well as practicing during our own time to ensure the piece would be as together and as musical as possible It was the piece chosen for us this term by Mr. Ventre, and my trio was very excited to play it.”

Kalya Yannatos, Director of the Arts, said, “It’s a way to see, hear and celebrate the work of student musicians within our community.  It is inspiring to see them courageously and generously share what they have worked hard on all term publicly. The recitals support the work done within the music lesson program, they provide an opportunity for students to perform what they have been working on with their lesson teacher, as well as for Arts Concentration musicians to share the chamber music that they rehearse every afternoon.” The two student recitals were a culminating synthesis of different elements in compositions, blending individual instruments and individual personalities into the trifecta of music that completely knocked out the members of the audience.

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