Two seniors bore their souls on the stage of the Mayo Concert Hall on Sunday, Feb. 2, during the first of this semester’s Senior Music Recitals.
Playing the trumpet, senior music education major Aaron Kopania opened the night with “Trumpet Voluntary” by Jeremiah Clarke, a piece that symbolized a march with its repetitive measures. Kopania was accompanied by Kathy Shanklin on the piano.
Kopania had a range of styles and accompaniments. He played the energetic and “polka-styled” “The Maid of the Mist” by Herbert L. Clarke. The piece opened with slow measures and gradually built momentum to a rapid firing of notes upon the closing.
On an individual note, Kopania’s shining moment occurred during his performance of “Sonanta for Trumpet and Piano” by Kent Kennan, which required a great deal of technical skill in which the movements switched between strong and powerful notes and muted tones, giving the notes a somber and distant quality to symbolize the struggle of acquiring freedom.
Jessica Renshaw, a senior music education major, took the stage with her clarinet in “Concerto No. 1 in F minor, Op. 73” by Carl Maria von Weber. Renshaw was accompanied by the pianist Sally Livingston.
The piece was composed of three movements, “Allegro Moderato,” “Adagio ma non troppo” and “Rondo.” The first movement opened with rather ominous notes bellowing from the piano, contrasted with the clarinet’s high and low fast-paced notes. In the second movement, the piano’s soft fluttering notes complemented the slow, long notes from the clarinet. During the final movement, the clarinet and piano finally came together on a very playful and bouncy tempo.
Renshaw also played two other challenging pieces that require great skill and precision. Renshaw and her accompanied pianist successfully tackled the first movement, “Allegro Amabile” of “Sonata No. 2 in Eb Major, Op. 120” by Johannes Brahams. Later, Renshaw played an equally challenging piece, “Première Rhapsodie” by Claude Debussy. This multifaceted piece had a wide range of high and low tones that ultimately were brought together to form a very jazzy-sounding ending.
The surprise of the showcase was Kopania’s closing performance of the “Brass Quintet, Op. 65” by Jan Koetsier. Kopania was accompanied by four of his closest friends at the College: Bruce Krywinski (trumpet), Andrew Unger (horn), Austin Barney (trombone) and Michael Korkowski (tuba).
“I had a lot of fun with the performance,” Kopania said after the recital. “I love those guys.”
The Quintet wowed the audience with precise layering of different sounds and tones. At one point during the first of two movements, there was even a back-and-forth type of rhythm with high trumpets talking to the horn and tuba, and viceversa, with the trombone chattering away in the background over both receiving ends.
“The last piece (Quintet) was my favorite,” senior music education major Val Kuntz said. “Overall the performance exciting and invigorating. It was a great way to end a senior recital.”
Upon graduating the College, Kopania plans on continuing playing music and pursuing a career as a music teacher.
Likewise, Renshaw plans on continuing to play the clarinet after graduation and hopes to attend graduate school to become a music teacher.
“The Quintet was very well done,” said John Wilkinson, a senior early childhood education major from the University of Scranton. “The clarinet (Renshaw) was amazing as well. Both are remarkable musicians.”