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Singers set tone for junior recital

Conor Golden March 22, 2014 Entertainment No Comments
Members of Pitch Black sing to start the performance. Left to right: senior Madeline Shier, sophomore Grace Thompson, junior Kati Sweigard, sophomore Brianna Robinson, sophomore Liz Nadeau, senior Liz Andersen and senior Danielle Bernert.

Junior Brianna Robinson sings with Pitch Black at last year’s performance of “The Vagina Monologues.” Photo: “Vagina Monologues moan for change.”

Two Ohio Wesleyan students let their voices soar through Sanborn Hall for their junior recital.

Jemison Auditorium filled with the friends and families of juniors Connor Stout and Brianna Robinson to witness their performance last Tuesday, March 4.

Mariko Kaneda, doctor of musical arts from City University of New York and assistant professor of piano at Ohio Wesleyan, provided accompaniment for both performers.

The pieces performed ranged from works by famous composers such as Wolfgang Mozart to Johannes Brahms and from Richard Strauss to Claude Debussy, to name a few.

Both Robinson and Stout said their respective instructors assigned most of their recital pieces, excluding a few that the singers were able to chose themselves.

The performers were each given three recital rehearsals to formally practice on stage.

However most of their work leading up to the performance was on their own time.

Stout said his biggest challenge during any performance is “trying to keep your body relaxed and your breath calm. Initially, it’s tough to get your voice where you want it to be.”

Stout opened the recital and set the tone for the rest of the night with a rendition of a section from Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni” titled  “Deh, vieni alla finestra.”

Stout’s performance in the program continued with selections from a few German-Austrian composers of the Romantic period and two English-speaking compositions, Richard Hundley’s “Strings in the Earth and Air” and Frank Bridge’s “Love Went A-Riding.”

To cap his section of the recital, Stout finished with his favorite composition “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables,” Claude-Michel Schonberg’s work from the famous musical “Les Miserables.”

A quick intermission occurred before Robinson stepped onto stage allowed audience members time to discuss opinions of the performance thus far.

Freshman Hayden Knisley joined the show briefly before having to attend rugby practice and said, “That was fantastic” of Stout’s performance. “I want to stay for [Robinson’s] part.”

The vocal music major, Robinson, began her set with a rendition of “Endless Pleasure, Endless Love,” a Handel piece from his 1743 opera “Semele”.

Robinson continued with various selections, including work from composers such as Johannes Brahms, Claude Debussy and her personal favorite piece, Robert Schumann’s “Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt.”

The conclusion to Robinson’s program illustrated the complex heights her voices could acheive.

Robinson sang Jeanine Tesori’s “Girl in 14G” which requires an extreme vocal range.

“It’s the most challenging because I have to switch between the voice of an opera singer to the scat of a jazz performer and then back to my normal voice,” Robinson said.

Following the recital, university president Rock Jones commented, “(Stout and Robinson) both did very well and worked hard to get ready. There was a rich variety of classical music and (the recital) was just very well done.”

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