Every journey has its end.
Keene State senior Hattie Skvorak is quickly approaching graduation. On Saturday, November 13, Skvorak performed her senior recital in the Alumni Recital Hall.
Senior recitals are a rite of passage for all music majors at Keene State College. This senior recital showcased Skvorak’s voice talent.
Skvorak designed her program in a unique way, all the pieces are organized by a type of flower. Each flower, having a different representation of emotion. “Starting with the magnolia set, the magnolia flower represents nobility and kind of a love of nature. All of the pieces that will be in that set tie into that theme so you’ll see those themes throughout the recital in different sections,” said Skvorak.
When asked about Skvorak’s experience with Keene State, she said, “I think the essence of the Keene State music department is just family. I think that’s the first word that comes to mind, and I think I share a similar sentiment with all the others, not just music majors in general and the faculty as well.” Skvorak continued, “From the moment I stepped on campus for my audition day back in March of 2018, it just felt so welcoming and it felt like I was part of the family already.”
Skvorak also noted the challenges that have arisen learning to perform and educate during a pandemic. “There was just kind of a gap in our connection to each other, because in person, music-making is such a massive aspect of what we do. And it’s those connections that we make through that process that are so important to us, and that’s why we do what we do here. To be able to do that now is fantastic and we’re grateful for every experience that we have in person, and I think we really don’t take it for granted anymore, because never thought that it would be taken away so easily, but once it was, it was one of those situations where you don’t realize how good you have it until it’s gone,” said Skvorak.
Dr. Daniel Carberg, the coordinator of the vocal area, explained what a senior recital is like. “This is kind of the culminating project that music majors particularly music education and performance majors do in their senior year. For voice majors, they do a combination of different time periods. The pieces in the recital reflect the Baroque period, classical period, romantic period, 20th century and beyond. There has to be a minimum of four languages represented in the recital. Some of these pieces she’s been working on for a long time, and some of these pieces are brand new this semester,” said Carberg.
Carberg also touched on how Skvorak’s recital is unique. “She has a named flower for each set and they kind of evoke a certain feeling, or there’s text in the songs that are evocative of those particular flowers. It’s a unique way of presenting a recital,” said Carberg.
When asked about some challenges that were faced during the pandemic, Carberg said, “The biggest challenge is for the singers, they have to do all of their performing with the mask on right now, and so in their voice lessons in my office, I have a mask on and the pianist has a mask on. Singing with a mask is really difficult because it’s hard to, one: get enough air, and then, particularly for a recital in a large concert space, you have to project [your voice].”
First-year Amber Farrell, who was in the audience, said, “It was brilliant. She’s the sweetest person ever, I’m absolutely blown away.”
When asked which piece was her favorite, Farrell said the honeysuckle set. “I like that, rather than language, it was divided by flowers. It was very pretty, and included a mix and match of different languages,” said Farrell. Farrell added, “She just did a brilliant job.”
Sparkle Woodward can be contacted at