By Anthony Garcia
Six students eased audience members’ minds with melodies of graceful classical pieces. These musicians brought their instruments and elegance to the stage at the Tuesday Recital Series at 12:30 p.m. in Mayo Concert Hall.
On a windy Tuesday afternoon, music students from every grade executed an array of classical styles, accompanied by the professional playing of pianists Kathy Shanklin and Stefanie Watson.
Once the lights dimmed, freshman music performance major Jael Cross welcomed the crowd with her soprano voice, hitting pitches with ease and allowing her sound to resonate in the auditorium effortlessly. The student’s voice dynamically accompanied Shanklin’s playing.
For her first performance at the College, Cross sang two pieces: “Silent Noon” by Ralph Vaughan Williams and an Italian song, “O del mio dolce ardor,” by Christoph Willibald Gluck. When she finished, the crowd released its energy through a strong applause.
“Being here makes me want to work harder as a musician and a performer,” Cross said. “And I’m building more on that every day, every lesson, every week.”
Next, Melissa Smith, a freshman music performance major, brought her clarinet to the stage. She played with a rich tone that cascaded up and down in register.
Piano and clarinet combined beautifully and floated through the fast-paced Gerald Finzi piece, “Five Bagatelles, Op. 23.”
Jonathan Anderson, a senior music performance major, followed Smith, playing fancy legato runs on euphonium. The senior’s mastery of tempo, as well as both low and high ranges, were a true testament to his musicianship at the College.
Playing Herbert L. Clarke’s “The Debutante,” Anderson met the speedy piece head-on, which showcased his musical ability.
Maxwell Mellies, a junior music education major, presented compelling style while leading his way through “Sonata for Alto Saxophone” and “Piano I. Allegro.” His body swayed, feeling the classical melody that Bernhard Heiden composed. His ability to control his instrument and produce a balanced sound called for a lively embrace from the audience.
Bryan Cook, a sophomore music education major, then took the stage. Pointing the bell of his trumpet directly towards the crowd, he played phrases that encapsulated a collection of emotions.
Shanklin’s piano rang out deep tones while Cook explored escalating scales. The dark fanfare provided a blissful release into difficult upbeat sections surrounded by powerful strings of notes.
“I had to nitpick the piece and slowly piece it together,” Cook said regarding his rendition of “Andante et Allegro” by J. Guy Ropartz. “It’s a classic with a lot of fun parts and sections of contrast.”
Capping off Tuesday’s recital, Konstanza Kovalev, a freshman music education major, sang with accompaniment from Watson on piano. Her mezzo-soprano voice vibrated sweetly during the melodic Johannes Brahms piece, “Wiegenlied Op. 49, no. 4 (Lullaby).”
The audience, which mainly consisted of music students and professors, was elated to hear young musicians pour their hearts and souls into renditions of classical music.