By Kendra Johnson, Arts Editor
Watch the TV screens in the GC or cafeteria for very long, and the plethora of music events this semester becomes quickly noticeable.
Campus is halfway through the semester and student recitals are gearing up.
Over the course of the next month, OBU will present student recitals including Marlee Tate Voice Recital April 5 at 7:30 p.m.; Isaac Reel Composition Recital April 9 at 7:30 p.m.; Jonathan Deichman Trombone Recital April 18 at 7:30 p.m.; Sydney Mathews Voice Recital April 25 at 6:00 p.m.; Mitchell Manlapig Piano Recital April 25 at 7:30 p.m.; Reagan Clark Voice Recital April 26 at 7:30 p.m.; and Emily Wright Voice Recital April 27 at 7:30 p.m.
Each performance will present musicals works from a number of musical styles.
The reason behind student recitals is two-fold: to fulfill music major graduation requirements and to share what they have learned with their friends, family and community.
“It’s the capstone experience for students’ applied lessons they’ve taken throughout their college career,” said Dean of the Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts and chair of the division of music Christopher Mathews.
All music students are required to hold at least a senior recital.
“You would have studied in most cases with the same professor for three to four years. And then the culmination of that is a […] public performance individually, of your repertoire,” Mathews said.
The length and content of the recitals vary by students’ major areas within music.
“Depending on the area, the level of study, it might be 30 minutes, it might be up to an hour long,” he said. “And it’s just a demonstration of the development of your skills, the breadth of repertoire that you know, […] level of comfort.”
Since the recitals are based around the student’s primary instrument or music composition if that is their focus of study, the recitals include a wide variety of musical styles.
“I will have a big band playing on one piece and most importantly this is a bass trombone recital,” senior music arts major Jonathan De-ichman said. “Bass trombone is a more obscure instrument that people haven’t heard of before so it’ll be something new for a lot of people.”
Even non-performance majors must still complete the recital requirement.
“We keep the standards for performance high, though, regardless of what degree, so the music faculty has said,” Mathews said. “And [it] is in accord with our accrediting body, National Association of Schools of music, that regardless of degree we want students to demonstrate a depth of knowledge and a proficiency in one performing area.”
The performance benefits non-performance music majors by giving them a larger understanding of music as a whole.
“In any of our degrees, but specifically, in this case, music, we’re always concerned with both breadth and depth,” Mathews said.
The recital process presents students with many challenges that require them to grow as a student in order to successfully perform.
“It’s helped with my expression, endurance, and routines for practice and warming up,” Deichman said. “[…] It builds character, as you are trying to push yourself and strive for a specific goal.”
Students must also learn to handle stage fright for their recitals.
“Having to deal with nerves, having to do with your perception of yourself, all of us wish we could be a little better,” Mathews said. “All of us think that someone else’s more talented. And so, I think having to wrestle through, number one, that you really are talented, that you really aren’t gifted, that you’ve worked hard, and that God has given you all in the abilities and gifts that you need to be successful.”
This understanding helps prepare students for graduate music programs.
“If they go to graduate school, they’re going to still be studying in an area; they’re going to always be performing,” Mathews said. “Students of music will always perform at some level.”
For example, OBU faculty members still perform, in faculty recitals.
“One of the elements of the faculty recital is inviting students to join us in the profession,” Mathews said. “And so, as you develop as a career musician, and a career music educator, you’re asking students to come along with you, right, so every faculty member that’s here give a recital, at some point.”
The exact performance expectations for students does vary depending on the students’ specific major.
“Music education students […] only give one recital, and typically they’re a little bit shorter, depending on the student’s desire and ability level,” Mathews said. “Versus a vocal performance, or a piano performance student, who is going to give two recitals that are full-length recitals.”
Music composition students represent a selection of their own compositions often performed by other students, although they might perform some of their works themselves.
All the student recitals allow students an opportunity to celebrate their achievements during their time at OBU.
“The recital provides opportunity for friends and family members to get together and say ‘you really have done good work’,” Mathews said. “‘We’re really proud. We’re impressed with what you’re doing