Every first Thursday of the month, the Graceland Music Department holds a recital that showcases the talents of music majors and minors. These recitals consist of several students performing solo repertoire in the instrument/voice of their choosing. Performers often include a wide array of instruments and musical styles. The recital always starts at noon, and this month consisted of four wonderful musical acts.
The first to perform was Tessla Michael, a percussion major who chose marimba for this performance. The piece she chose was titled “My Lady White” by David Maslanka. This piece was pulsing and rhythmic, giving the listener a sense of forward motion. Tess incorporated dynamics expertly, and was able to add a certain level of musicality to the piece. She did an excellent job, especially with the piece being so technically difficult.
Next came Philip Richard, another percussion major, who chose a timpani piece for his performance. The piece is titled “Lift Etude #7” by John Beck. The piece sounded like a heavy war march, using the booming sound of the two timpani to fill the room with sound. The piece was short and simple, but played in a way to give it a feeling of power.
After that came Leata Te’o accompanied by Jack Ergo. Leata has a beautiful mezzo-soprano voice and the piece she chose was an Aria from La Rosaura by Alessandro Scarlatti. Her sweet, smoky voice paired nicely with the piano, and carried throughout the piece. She brought her own style to this early classic by adding interesting phrasing and dynamics. She did an excellent job with smooth transitions in this simple and elegant piece.
Last was Vanessa Vuckovic, another mezzo-soprano vocalist accompanied by Jack Ergo. The piece she chose was a musical number from Ghost the Musical called “With You” by Dave Stewart. Vanessa sang with power and confidence, expertly projecting her voice throughout the hall with no need for amplification. The piece was an emotional and beautiful number, and she did it justice through her mastery of dynamics and soul. Afterwards, there was hardly a dry eye in the audience.
These recitals are the best way for music majors and minors to gain the confidence they need for performance. The only issue with these recitals is the overall lack of student attendance. These performers work hard to prepare repertoire and sometimes the only people who make up the audience are close friends and community members. First Thursday recitals are essential for the Music Department, and we need more people to come to our exceptional recitals and performances. If you support your fellow students, or just appreciate seeing live, talented musicians, come to the recitals every first Thursday of the month at noon in Carol Hall and be inspired.
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