It takes a lot of courage to stand up on a stage and sing, putting yourself in a vulnerable position at the judgement of others. There are numerous people that could not even imagine willingly receiving attention like that. However, many Keene State College music students welcome the idea.
On Saturday, Nov. 5, the KSC music department held its “Freshmen and Sophomore Voice Major Recital” in the Redfern Art Center’s Alumni Recital Hall. The audience was mostly composed of families of those who performed, but nevertheless the students were able to present pieces they had been working on in lessons with their voice teachers.
The event showcased a total of 13 first-year students and sophomores who performed individual songs, with the exception of one duet performed by soprano singers Laurel Mendelsohn and Sarah Ames.
Vocal Instructor Julie Ness, who was one of four professors working with the students involved in the recital, explained what goes into deciding what music should be performed by each individual. “You have to look at where they are at in their vocal development. Where they are, not only developmentally, but also where they are as a musician,” Ness said.
Ness continued to explain that another important factor was figuring out how comfortable a singer is performing in a different language. “It’s something that all of the singers here are learning about, and if you’re a freshmen then you aren’t as accustomed to singing in Italian or French or German. If you’re a sophomore, then they should feel a little more comfortable. You should have had a little more time with studying the diction of the pieces and being able to translate the meaning of the pieces, and then also express the meaning of the song, even if it is in another language,” Ness elaborated.
While majority of the songs were performed in English, there were a presentation of music performed in foreign languages such as German, Spanish and French, highlighting the musical maturity of those students.
Along with learning music in a different language, students studying voice at KSC work on developing an array of other skills. Sophomore Tyler Martin, who performed Michael Head’s “When I Think Upon the Maidens,” expressed some of the difficulties of learning a new piece of music. “Probably just multitasking between things like lyrics and actually singing pitches.” Martin also explained how his professor helped him move past some of these difficulties by working with him on this music. “I’ve had some troubles this semester, but also some good times. Dr. Carberg was really helpful with it.”
Martin addressed his happiness with being able to work through those troubles and having a successful performance.
In the audience to see him perform was Martin’s mother, Kim Martin. Kim conveyed her enthusiasm to see her son perform as well as acknowledged the improvement she has seen in her son’s confidence since coming to KSC.
“It was amazing. It’s really amazing to see how much growth there’s been in the past two years since he has been here. It’s always amazing to see him up there looking so confident,” Kim said.
The recital lasted for about an hour, with many smiling faces leaving Alumni Recital Hall afterward.
Erin McNemar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org