Soren Frantz / Photo Editor

COVID-19 doesn’t not put a stop to the student recital series held in the Redfern.

The recital followed a senior music education major named Grant Desmarais who plays the clarinet. Desmarais played the clarinet for much of the recital but included other instruments as well as piano and saxophone.

Desmarais was confident that the recital would go well, but explained how COVID-19 had created some challenges for him as he prepared for his recital.

“I picked out the repertoire for it back in February just so I would have plenty of time to work on it,” Desmarais says., “It’s been a lot harder to rehearse with my pianist with the restrictions of COVID-19 but we’ve been making it work the best we can.”

Desmarais has been preparing for the recital since the winterthen and says the biggest challenge he faced was wearing a bell cover on his clarinet, making it hard for him to play certain notes.

The recital was held at the Alumni Recital Hall in the Redfern. The event started at 7:30 p.m and lasted for an hour until 8:30 p.m. The theater opened their doors 15 minutes prior to the performance and audience members were required to order a free ticket from the ticket booth before entering. Due to the pandemic, audience members were spread around with seating to maintain the social distancing and only Keene State students and faculty could attend the event.

Desmarais performed live with his professors Stephanie Jenkins on clarinet and Vladimir Odinokikh on piano. The recital was also live streamed across the internet for those who still wanted to listen but could not attend the event.

Desmarais says his musical career started when he was only five years old. He began starting piano lessons and soon switched over to clarinet after picking up his mother’s old one and trying it for the first time. In high school, Desmarais performed in ensembles under Dr. Heidi Welch who inspired him to pursue music as a career, according to the Rredfern events page.

Desmarais has been studying music at Keene State College for the past four years by pursuing clarinet with Professor Stephanie Jenkins and piano with Professor Stephanie Wirzburger. At Keene State College, Desmarais has performed in concert band, orchestra, concert choir, vocal consort, and clarinet choir.

In addition to being in the class of 2021, Desmarais is the President of KSC American Choral Directors Association, the Vice President of Service KSC Intra-Fraternity Council, and the Vice President of Ritual and Traditions KSC Alpha Sigma Phi.

For more events like the student recital series you can visit on the Keene State college website.


Matt White can be contacted:

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