While some people begin playing musical instruments in middle school, others start very young. One such person is Keene State College (KSC) senior music performance major Hannah Benoit.

On Saturday, April 15, Benoit performed her senior recital in the Redfern’s Alumni Recital Hall.

Benoit has been playing the piano since she was four years old, when a piano was gifted to her family.

“I kept hitting all the keys and stuff and my mom started showing me little things or so and then she signed me up for lessons,” Benoit said.

Benoit had her first lesson at age five and continued with them, further improving her skills and passion.

Alexandria Saurman / Arts and Entertainment Editor

Alexandria Saurman / Arts and Entertainment Editor

When it came time for Benoit to decide on a college major, she said she was torn between math and music. Ultimately, she went with music.

“I knew that going into music I would be so happy…Playing piano is really what I need to do for my life,” Benoit said.

The recital opened up with Benoit walking onto the stage, adorned in a strapless, green gown. She bowed to the applauding audience before taking a seat at the piano’s bench.

She played “Prelude and Fugue in G Major, BWV 884” by Johann Sebastian Bach. At the conclusion of the song, Benoit stood up, bowed and exited the stage. This was a pattern that followed every song.

Once returned to the stage, Benoit played Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Sonata in e minor, Op. 90, No. 27.”

One more song was played before the 10 minute intermission.

Post intermission, Benoit played three additional songs, one of which involved nine parts.

For all but one of the songs, the one involving nine parts, Benoit was required to memorize the music. She explained that for piano and guitar players, any music created before the 1950s must be played without sheet music.

When the show was over and audience members gathered in the Redfern’s lobby, Benoit thanked everyone for coming and for supporting her.

Benoit’s roommate, senior music education major Hailley Dufresne, attended the recital.

“I’m overall really proud of her ‘cause she’s worked her butt off… she did great. I could not be prouder as a roommate.”

Two of Benoit’s other friends, Rivier University junior human development and family studies major Michelle Palmieri and former KSC communication major Alex Peck, were also a part of the audience.

“Oh I loved it. I’m so glad that I’m able to come back here and experience classical music again,” Palmieri said.

Peck called the performance “quite spectacular,” commenting positively on the songs Benoit played.

“I’ve been with this repertoire for so long that like it feels so good to be performing and then be done with it, but then on the flip side, obviously I really care deeply and I want to do really well,” Benoit said.

Benoit has committed to Boston University to earn her master’s degree in music theory, what she calls “the math side of music.”

Alexandria Saurman can be contacted at asaurman@kscequinox.com

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