Students display musical talents in weekend recitals

BY REBECCA HALL, STAFF WRITER

Last weekend Stretansky Concert Hall came to life, yet again, as it showcased three musicians.
Juniors Dana Brown and Eric Morris as well as senior Melissa Lee displayed their ever-growing talent on Saturday and Sunday.
For Lee, this was one of the most important performances of her college career.
Lee said: “This is my music capstone for the music performance degree. It’s a senior recital, one hour of solo piano music.”
Lee has been involved in music since she was almost 8 -years-old.
She explained that she had found it enjoyable and interesting, as well as exciting. However, she did not consider the serious idea of having music as a part of her career until she realized that she wanted to continue learning about it.
Lee’s performance included the following pieces: “Toccata in E minor, BWV 914” composed by Johann Bach, “Sonata in B-flat, Op. 22” by Ludwig von Beethoven, Francis Poulenc’s “Improvisations, I-VI” and Johannes Brahms’ “Rhapsodies, Op. 79.”
When asked about her repertoire, Lee explained that she had wanted a variety of selections that not only ranged in style, but in time period as well.
Lee is currently a music performance and accounting dual major.
She plans to go on to graduate school and earn a master’s degree in piano performance and pedagogy. She also hopes to pursue music entrepreneurship.
“Music is more than just performing notes on a page,” Lee said.
“For the serious musician, it becomes a lifestyle, and for one to be successful in life with a career in music, you need to be dedicated, committed, disciplined, willing to learn and never be afraid to take on some challenges.”
For two juniors, this weekend was a chance to show their growth in music so far, and to give them an idea on how far they want to push themselves in their last year here.
Morris, a clarinetist, has been involved in music since he was four.
His family was highly involved in music, and they helped to push him into his interest.
Morris said: “It then kind of spiraled from there. I never really found another academic subject that sparked my interest as much as music. It is something that is extremely challenging, interesting and fun to me.”
Morris performed “Hommage A De Falla” by Bela Kovacks, “Clarinet Concerto No.2” by Carl von Weber, “Sonatina Attique” by Henri Tomasi and “Duo Concertant No. 2” by Fanny Mendelssohn.
Morris explained that the repertoire was chosen based on his desire to gain experience in many different types and styles of pieces, as well as provide some variation for his audience.
Morris is a music education major.
He plans on becoming a music teacher or continuing his schooling to obtain a Master’s degree in either performance or higher education.
Brown, a clarinetist, also used this weekend as an opportunity to display her improving talent.
However, unlike Morris, Brown was accompanied by another student, Jennifer Shirk, for the piece “The Hommage for J. S. Bach” by Bela Kovacs.
Brown said, “I’ve never played an accompanied piece, and all the pieces just appealed to me for their technical demands and lush melodies.”
Brown also performed “Duo Concertant” by Darius Milhaud and “Five Bagatelles” by Gerald Finzi.
Brown’s musical journey began in fifth grade and continued at the encouragement of her mother.
Brown said, “I continue to play, because I enjoy playing the clarinet and connecting to people through music.”
Brown is currently a music education major. She said her plans for after graduation are to be happy and healthy, performing music and teaching music to students in the public schools.
Brown said: “I love the rush I get from performing and teaching music. I make music because I want to share my passion for music with everyone around me.”
This Sunday, two more juniors, Kaitryn Ronning and Joshua Heaney, will take the stage for their recital at 2 p.m.Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 12.48.40 PM