By Adelle Brodbeck
Juniors Caitlen Sellers and Grace Thompson provided a professional performance featuring music from a wide range of renowned artists in their junior recital on Oct. 28.
Thompson, a soprano, sang songs from artists such as Mozart and Franz Shubert. Sellers played pieces on her flute from artists such as Benjamin Godard and Albert Roussel.
The performance began with Thompson’s series of songs, followed by Sellers’ performance on the flute, and concluded with the pair performing Irish folk songs by John Corigliano.
Sellers said she has been playing the flute since she was in fourth grade, about 11 years. Aside from a few small performances, this was her first big recital.
To prepare for the show, Sellers said she spent a lot of time practicing her pieces with her flute instructor, Nancy Gamso.
“On the actual day of the recital, I went running and did some yoga to prepare my mind and body,” she said. “Then I did a long warm up, thought through the entire performance, and went for it!”
Sellers said she had a difficult time deciding which songs to perform.
“There are so many fantastic and fun pieces,” she said. “I had some ideas before the semester started, and Dr. Gamso suggested a lot of pieces too. I honestly loved everything that I played, but I think ‘Kokopeli’ was my favorite.”
Thompson has had many experiences preforming before this recital. She has been singing for most of her life through choir in high school, voice lessons and her involvement with OWU’s female a cappella group, Pitch Black, but she said this was her longest recital to date.
Thompson performed songs in Spanish, French and German; she said she particularly enjoyed performing the Spanish pieces. She said the most difficult part was switching between different accents.
“Singing in different languages isn’t so hard anymore since I’ve been studying classical music for eight years,” she said. “It’s usually transitioning between the languages and getting yourself in the mindset for each given pronunciation in not very much time that’s tricky.”
In preparing for the recital, Thompson said she tried not to push herself too much.
“In the couple days leading up to your recital, don’t overdo your practice,” she said. “You don’t want to wear yourself down or psych yourself out. Just relax and get in the zone, and then give yourself a refresher when you’re preparing that day.”
Thompson said she and Sellers decided to work together partially because of their similar goals for their future music careers and because it is uncommon for instrumentalists and vocalists to have joint recitals.
“We thought it would be a nice change,” Thompson said.
Both performers agreed the overall recital was a success.
“I feel so good about how it went,” Thompson said. “Of course everyone always notices their own little mistakes, but really I couldn’t have asked for much more.”
“I was very nervous going in, but then the music hit me and I got really into it,” I hope the audience had as much fun as I did.”