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Recital showcases student talent

The show featured everything from opera to a duet with a Macbook

Byron Kimball | Staff Writer

As the rain hammered outside, Smith Music Hall played host to 15 music students on Thursday, March 8. Though the 11 a.m. recital received little advertisement, students who attended had the chance to enjoy musical feats across a variety of genres and grade levels.

Vetted by Dr. Diane Baxter, students participating in the recital were not required to perform as part of a class. Instead, participation was voluntary and, for many students involved, it became a chance to practice for upcoming recitals of their own. In tubist and music senior Josiah Glaser’s case, the performance was one of his first at Western.

Going into today’s performance, I was looking for a solid first performance, not necessarily an extremely refined or polished performance, but a performance reflective of my progress thus far and a checkpoint towards my senior recital,” Glaser said.

The tubist performed “The Effervescent Ballroom,” a piano and tuba duet, but other students attempted varied genres — voice student Shaohao Wang took on opera; performing in the musical theater genre was Chuming Jiang, performing “I’ve Got a Lot of Living to Do” from “Bye Bye Birdie; and classical music pianists Faerynn Glasscock, XuDong Yang, Lingyu Zhu, Levi Polasek, Li Jing and Yuzhou Huang played pieces from their collective wheelhouse. Pianist and professor Jackie Morelli provided piano accompaniment for the singers who performed: Marissa Sanders, Mengyuan Chan, Chuming Jiang, Jenny Yang, Virtue Cornelison, Shaohao Wang, Olivia Preciado and Scotti Matney.

Percussionist Sam Wheeler closed out the show by performing a duet with a Macbook: a performance art piece titled “Stop Speaking,” which featured rhythmatic snare drumming alongside a speech-to-text program.

Huang, described preparing for the March 8 performance, saying, “I was not nervous until I was staying at the small room that is a path through to the stage. Then I got a little bit (nervous). But when I was walking into stage and seated at the bench, I was calm. Then I started to play with my heart.” Huang will be performing a solo graduate recital in spring 2019.

Glaser, who will be graduating in spring 2018, said of performing “The Effervescent Ballroom”: “This piece feels like the perfect ‘goodbye’ piece, sending off the previous chapter in my life (my undergraduate experience) and ushering in the next chapter in my life”.

Contact the author at bkimball16@wou.edu

Photo by: Paul F. Davis