Seniors have many things to do before they earn their degree. Even though we all have finals, seniors become more stressed because some finals can be the defining moment in starting their careers.
For music majors this one cumulative moment is their senior recitals and, for seniors Bailey Emerson and Jennie St. Martin, that moment came on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 3 p.m.
The two seniors had family and friends attend their dual performances; the Alumni Recital Hall was filled with people young and old and cameras lined the first several rows.
Professor Jim Chesebrough commented on the performance, saying, “The coordination of the event is usually left up to the students themselves and their private instructors and studio teachers.”
The studio teacher for Martin, according to Chesebrough, was Dr. Maura Glennon and Professor Pamela Stevens was the teacher for Emerson. “They are both responsible for the work of the students, but the students put it together,” Chesebrough said.
According to Chesebrough, “This is sort of the capstone experience for all of our music majors. In order for them to get their degree, they have to do a public recital. They very often go into pairs of one performance or, sometimes, they’ll just do it as one performance one by one.”
Seniors were not the only ones performing; they were aided by Professor Cheryl Sharrock on piano, KSC sophomore Daniel Ciccarello on violin, and KSC senior Joseph McConaughy on viola.
At the start of the show, Ciccarello and McConaughy walked down the aisles of the Alumni Recital Hall talking about the recital in a joking fashion and also talked about the food offered at the reception after the show. The surprise performance was unexpected and unscripted and was the brain child of the two improv performers.
Ciccarello said, “We didn’t anticipate there to be a reception and just before the final started Jennie actually asked us, ‘Hey do you mind going out and making an announcement?’ and I said, ‘You know what we will make something from this, you know have a little fun with this.’ So we tried to lighten up the crowd a little bit and they enjoyed it and it was a lot of fun to do.”
Senior Bailey Emerson is a mezzo-soprano singer and she performed numerous songs with the help of the pianists and the woodwinds. Some songs included classical works by Bach, Pergolesi, and Carpenter. The songs ranged in style, vocal range, and even language. Emerson commented on the different languages she had to sing saying she sang “four [languages]; English, French, Italian, and German.” She went on to say, “I knew the translations, I didn’t sing the translations. I knew them and they were in the program. I had to learn the translations as part of the emotional performance so I knew what I was singing about. You had to know which words matched up with the note.” As for the actually performance she said singing the different languages “was fun, very, very fun.”
Emerson’s performance went beyond her singing ability; her singing style and body movements strengthened her delivery. During her performance of “Seguidilla from Carmen” she moved her body in a twisting motion, projecting her voice loudly to the audience sitting high in the back rows.
Emerson also said, “What went into the performance? Blood, sweat, and tears. We’ve been rehearsing this since freshman year. Yeah, long time.”
Senior Jennie St. Martin is a pianist and performed solo for most of her songs, save for some at the end of the recital.
She played works from classical composers such as Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin. Her style of playing ranged from classical to very emotional pieces with enough range in playing style that she can truly be defined as an artist.
She commented on her performance, saying, “This is kind of the culmination of all the private lessons I’ve been taking the last four years. So, we brought in some music that I’ve been playing for a long time. It’s new music that covered all of the genres.”
Her style is completely unique to her and her alone; she can add emotion and depth to any piece, be it classical or modern.
The two seniors all played with several performers but did not rely on each other until the final song.
The song titled “Still Hurting” from “The Last Five Years” was performed with St. Martin on piano, Emerson on vocals, and the woodwinds in the background.
In the end the audience gave a standing ovation to the two seniors. Chesebrough commented on the piece saying, “This is kind of like a final project or final exam for music students, but, I don’t know if anyone can say that they enjoy their final exams in it of itself as much as they did with going to a concert and hearing music like this.”
Ryan Loredo can be contacted at email@example.com