After years of practicing their craft, Keene State College music majors Danielle St. Amand and Joe Conti brought their music to life in front of a nearly packed Alumni Recital Hall audience.
On Saturday, Oct. 29, KSC senior St. Amand played the flute, while KSC junior Conti played the trumpet for the KSC Music Department’s latest installment in the junior/senior recital series. Assisted by staff accompanist Vladimir Odinokikh playing the piano, both performers traded off center stage, each playing nontraditional and traditional songs and scales from a classical repertoire of chosen music.
The set of songs played came with a variety of sounds, tones and speeds as each displayed their ability to play an array of songs that changed in tempo throughout the performance. The performance built up to a duet finale where Conti and St. Amand shared the spotlight. The duo performed a piece titled “Ballade, Pastorale and Dance for Flute and Piano II,” by Eric Ewazen (1954).
After receiving a standing ovation, Conti and St. Amand took the time to thank all of those in attendance in the lobby after the show. Both performers expressed their relief in knowing that the performance was well-received afterward.
St. Amand said, “I felt that it went really well. I’m very happy with it.”
Conti added that both of them have been working on this performance for years and that he couldn’t believe the recital was actually over.
“I think it’s really gratifying,” Conti said, “because it shows the capability in what we have and how…years of work lead to this one moment where you can showcase this thing that we’re so proud of and really move the audience in a way that you’ve been working towards for years.”
With help from professors Robin Matathias and Devaseelan Manickam, both students chose musical pieces from a large repertoire of classical music that they could find an emotional relationship with and could tell a story as performers.
“The way that I approached picking my music,” Conti said, “[is] I picked music that I really enjoy playing. I didn’t really know a lot of classical repertoire so my teacher helped me decide on them and then after that I was able to make my own emotional connections and stories to go along with them, as I interpreted the music and figured out what I liked about it and what it was about.”
Conti and St. Amand said what made the performance special for both of them was that they have been very close friends since they met. With the two already having chemistry before taking the stage, St. Amand said working with her best friend made the recital go that much more smoothly.
“It made it easier for us to find a connection because we know each other so well,” St. Amand said. “So that last piece that we played, I knew what he wanted, he knew what I wanted and we kind of just worked together without even having to speak.”
Mutual friend of both performers and fellow music major, Amy Buonpane said that very performance where the two shared the stage was particularly special.
“Seeing them perform together was really great, especially in the last piece,” Buonpane said. “Just seeing them do what they love together is really awesome.”
Nick Tocco can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org