Thursday, May 19, 2022

Barber belts for senior recital

By Daniel Truax

 The world is slowly welcoming live events again and the spring 2022 semester is no exception to that. April 3, in the Hartman Theatre at 4 p.m., one event will display the talent and dedication of Mason Barber, one of the seniors in the music program.

Barber will be accompanied by Dr. Karen Becker, the chair of music at SUNY Plattsburgh.

The senior recitals are performances that show the culmination of years of studies. After semesters of hard work, this performance allows them to display their musical ability. For Barber, this began extremely early.

Barber’s interest in music began at an extremely early age, starting in pre-school. In sixth grade, he began private vocal lessons with  Pamela Lavin, in order to hone his technique to a higher level. These private lessons allowed him to “find his voice.” By taking private lessons, he was able to find a style that was completely his own.

“The overall theme of the concert is the progression and transformation of myself,” Barber said. 

The music not only spans his beginnings to where he is, but also represents a timeline for musical theater. His repertoire comes both from his time with Lavin as well as some from his work with Timothy Morningstar.

Even though recitals can be seen as a serious venture, Barber wants his performance to be a more intimate experience. 

“I believe that the performance is being called ‘An Evening with Mason Barber,’ which I believe lends its way to be more intimate,” Barber said.

During his performance, he will talk about how he has evolved as a musician and as a performer. Being a dual major in both theater and music, his performance draws from both backgrounds. 

“I wanted to showcase both of my majors and how I blend them together,” Barber said. With his pieces drawing from the “American Songbook” and musical theater, they lend themselves to giving a performance rather than plainly sung. He hopes that the performance will show how he has grown as a musician as well as the progression he made in order to find his voice. This skill is more abstract, and developing that can take several years. Barber hopes he can demonstrate that with his performance.

Barber’s influence can be seen from his time at SUNY Plattsburgh. Aurélie Wolf, a fellow member of the Concert Choir, is inspired by Barber. 

“Mason’s sense of humor and optimism inspires everyone not to be ashamed to be themselves,” Wolf said. 

His dedication not only is in his performance, but making his peers feel welcome in any environment.

He is proud that this performance even exists in the first place. 

“I never thought that I would be able to present my talent in a solo performance, let alone 10 songs that showcase my range,” Barber said. 

He is grateful for everyone that has helped him along his musical journey.

Being a performer requires sheer determination and dedication to the craft. This will culminate in his senior recital, which will show his growth as a musician during his time in Plattsburgh. 

The event is free to attend.

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