by Sheridan Cyr
The CCSU Department of Music presented their second student recital in Founders Hall November 18. The room filled up as seven talented, aspiring musicians tuned instruments and pushed the creases out of their dress clothes with nervous hands.
Each student was retrieved and accompanied by either Elisabeth Tomczyk or Michael Korman on the piano. The pianists’ job was to provide a simple undertone to the students’ performance.
Nathaniel Allen looked apprehensive approaching the piano, but exposed a much more confident side when he began playing his alto saxophone. The piece he chose, a mid 20th century concerto by Pierre Max Dubois, was calming and peaceful while still allowing Allen to show off his skills. It covered a large scale of notes and difficult transitions. His part worked on the off-beat of the piano’s part, proving that Allen could maintain his own pace without being drawn into the piano’s.
Molly Spak took the stage alongside Tomczyk. It was not until she rose up her flute that her timid expression relaxed. She nodded gently through her performance of Philippe Gaubert’s “Nocturne and Allegro Scherzando.” The piece featured long-held notes, fast, advanced transitions and multiple changes in tempo. At one point the piano ceased and allowed Spak to take the spotlight. She looked proud as the audience clapped.
A second flute performance by Juliana Rivera commenced. Rivera’s piece began slowly and generated excitement as it built upward. Her hands moved quickly along the instrument while she perfectly executed the tune, breezing through it effortlessly.
Evelyn Hernandez honored Ludwig van Beethoven with her violin performance of “Sonata in F, Op. 50.” Hernandez completely immersed herself in the passionate, endearing tune. She slowly rocked back and forth following the motion of her bow, smiling all along. Hernandez performed without sheet music and often times closed her eyes and relied on only her memory to play.
Haley Schmidt truly personified A. Périlhou’s “Ballade” on her flute. The exciting song immediately began with boasting, powerful high notes. Schmidt seemed confident in her mastering of the piece. She embodied a close personal connection to it, as if remembering all the hours she’d spent hunkered over the sheet music, hands memorizing every movement.
Julie Morrison chose to perform Frederic Chopin’s “Nocturne” in C# minor on the violin. The “#” symbol instructs musicians to play “sharp,” which gives the song somewhat of an eerie, darker sound. In this way, Morrison’s performance was different from the others’. She carefully moved her bow across the violin and allowed the song to shift through a number of moods with impeccable transitions.
Wrapping up the recital was Carla Stoddard. While struggling to tune her violin, she generated a few laughs from the audience with a muttered explanation, “new strings.” Stoddard quickly became stern and intent with the beginning of the song. She played in a manner that rivaled the piano, almost fighting to dominate it. The song featured a number of unexpected turns and advanced combinations. Stoddard strived to demonstrate her masterful conquering and evident, thorough comprehension of every note. At one point, she introduced a new sound by plucking the violin’s strings rather than conventional bowing.
Students of the music department are expected to perform one recital each semester. The recitals are implemented in hopes of providing experience playing in a professional setting in front of an audience. The last student recital will be held on December 4 at 3:05pm in Founders Hall and is open to the public.