Monday, July 4, 2022

Students prepare for senior recitals

By Megan Jagde

As the world slowly welcomes live events again, the spring semester brings many art, music and theater events. 

One of these events will showcase the talent and hard work of some of the seniors in the music program April 3 at 2 p.m. in the Hartman Theatre. 

The senior recitals are the culmination of these students’ musical studies. After years of work, their time in the program is coming to an end, and this is their chance to show off all they have worked on. 

“This performance signifies the ending of my college career,” senior Journey Myricks said. “It also signifies the growth of my voice from freshman year to now.” 

After years of weekly studio lessons working on breathing techniques, voice control and many other technical aspects of vocal performance, Myricks hopes her performance in the senior recitals will convey the emotions of the wide array of pieces in her program, allowing the audience to connect with the music. 

Throughout the next few weeks leading up to her performance, Myricks will have studio lessons multiple times a week to “help perfect the pieces and create artistry.” 

Skills like these are abstract and complex and developing them takes years, which is why this recital is the perfect opportunity for Myricks to showcase the talent she has put so much time into throughout her college career.

Miranda Velez, also a senior in the music program, took some time to reflect on her experiences leading up to her senior recital.

 “I feel like it’s a big celebration,” Velez said. “Music is my major, voice is my instrument and this is what I’ve been doing with it for the past four years.” 

She describes the support she has received for both this performance and throughout her years in the program. Her voice coach, Pamela Lavin, gives advice, encouragement and helps her build peer connections. 

“I’m surrounded by supportive peers and teachers,” Velez said. After her recent performance in the student-run production of “The Cake,” she explained the way she connected with music through performance. 

“Putting on the performances, to me, is the most fun I could possibly have,” Velez said. “At the end of the day, no matter how much work I have to put in, it is so worth it in the end.” 

Performing, to Velez, is a way to connect with those who have supported her in her musical career and showcase her talents in a way that demonstrates the dedication and hard work the musicians put into every show they put together.

For senior Vannessa Kwok, many of these same sentiments ring true. Like the others, she spends a lot of time on practicing the pieces and memorizing them in order to prepare for her performance. However, she said she sometimes experiences some anxiety when she is going to perform. 

While many can probably relate to this sentiment, Kwok also expressed another reason why performing is a great accomplishment. 

“Singing pieces that are not my native languages could also be part of the reason that I am feeling anxious,” Kwok said, pointing out another challenge that many people might not consider.

 This adds another level of connection that Kwok must make with her music, as understanding the meanings and significance of music in a foreign language is another skill that takes time to develop. When asked what she has had to do to prepare, she explained the way she went about that. 

“I learn some Italian and German for my pieces,” Kwok said. “I also spend a lot of time on practicing the pieces and memorizing them. I also do research online to listen to how other people would act and the feelings that I need to put into the music.”

No matter the challenges these performers have faced throughout their time in the music program here at Plattsburgh, these seniors have put their all into developing their musicianship. The performances will feature all three performers mentioned above, as well as Mason Barber and Karen Becker as accompanist.

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