Students prepare for Recital


A mezzo soprano and a trumpet player performed their junior recital on Feb. 15 at 2 p.m.

The vocalist, Margaret Surdovel, and instrumentalist, Ryan Fitch, prepared roughly 30 minutes of music individually for their recital.

Fitch, a music education major, performed pieces by Giuseppe Tartini, Johann Nepomuk Hummel and Paul Hindemith.

“The Hindemith is by far the most challenging, and it was great to be challenged while learning this piece. This sonata was written in a time when emotional music was completely frowned upon, but there are lots of feelings of darkness and sadness, which is surprising for this period and yet not so surprising knowing that it was written at the time of the outbreak of World War II,” Fitch said.

The piece is filled with sounds of marching German forces and bits of the military song “Taps,” according to Fitch. The work concludes with a chorale titled “All Men Must Die” that has been reused many times.

Fitch said: “The chorale in this Hindemith’s sonata is slow and by the end saps the performer of all emotional and physical power. Hindemith takes the joyous sound of the trumpet and uses it as a declaration of death.”

He said that he picked the Tartini because he wanted to learn music literature for the piccolo trumpet. “This piece is a staple of those pieces,” he explained.

Fitch said that he learned the Hummel piece in high school and has always adored it for its beautifully pastoral style.

Ilya Blinov, lecturer in music, and senior Jessica Brown accompanied Fitch.

“Both have put many hours of practicing for the pieces they [played] with me,” he said.

Surdovel, a music education major, performed pieces by Alessandro Stradella, Johannes Brahms and Libby Larsen.

“I was fortunate enough to meet Larsen and sing for her in October thanks to the Artist-in-Residence series, which was an incredible experience,” she said.

She added, “I wanted my selections to represent a variety of musical eras, so each of my three sets comes from a vastly different period.”

According to Surdovel, her pieces ranged from Italian Baroque to contemporary.

Kimmy Carney, a senior piano student, accompanied Surdovel.

In order to prepare, Surdovel said that she worked with Professor Jeffery Fahnestock for most of this year. She said, “[I] had to do some serious work over winter break to prepare for a recital so early in the semester.”