The KSC Music Department held its annual Junior and Senior Voice Recital on Saturday, Nov. 5 at the Redfern Arts Center Alumni Recital Hall.
The recital is an opportunity for music performance majors to demonstrate their skills and apply what they have learned so far during their time at KSC.
Dr. Daniel Carberg, music department chair and organizer of the event said, “We have been doing this event virtually for three years…It’s actually quite moving to have this event in person again. I think the students are really excited to have a live audience and to be singing without a mask on. It’s very liberating.”
The students performed a variety of pieces from classical to opera, and even musical theater. Junior Alice Browne, who performed a classical piece and a musical theater piece, explained, “There’s such a big difference…[in] classical music…everything is very fancy, the way that you say it…whereas singing a piece for musical theater, you don’t have to be quite so rigid with how you’re pronouncing things. It’s a little bit closer to how you would speak…I know the sound of musical theater music, if you will. Whereas with classical music, I still struggle to sort of make sure that I am not over pronouncing or under pronouncing certain words, certain letters”
Browne said she had had an overall positive experience working with her voice teacher, Professor Evangelia Leontis.
“I love working with my voice teacher…she’s great…I’m a mezzo-soprano, which is the second-highest voice range. And I really enjoy singing in that range. I think there are so many beautiful pieces written for mezzos… I’ve just sort of fallen in love with…opera music…I’m not performing any opera songs in this recital, but I do typically have at least one each semester,” said Browne.
Morgan Bothwell, an adjunct vocal consort, said he has different strategies for teaching different styles of music.
“I have some students that are really focused on classical music, and some students that are focused on musical theater pieces…I am going to be teaching solid technique no matter what they’re singing, but they just require a different mindset to go about it,” Bothwell said. “…you’ve got to really balance what you’re doing vocally, while not sacrificing the character.”
Browne said she had to be diligent with her practice leading up to the recital. “[I sat] in a practice room with the piano track playing on my phone, singing through it, or met with the piano player and work[ed] with him,” she said.
Bothwell added, “The work that you’ve done up until the performance really needs to be solid…I think a lot of students…get nervous and caught up in that. But at the end of it, you survive. And you’ve made a wonderful musical moment.”
Carberg said that the students that performed did not all begin their music education at the same time.
“Some, even though they’re juniors and seniors…may have just started taking voice lessons. And some have been taking lessons all the way through high school,” Carberg said.
Carberg stated, “I try to prepare my singers to think about what they’re singing about on the stage rather than what they sound like. So their job is to be a storyteller because every piece is a different story, whether it’s in German, whether it’s in English, and their job is to become that character, and tell that story and move the audience.”
Carberg added, “I think [the audience is] going to take away the fact that [the] Keene State voice area is super strong right now. And it’s just going to continue to grow.”
Benjamin Martins can be contacted at