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Senior recitals showcase talent

Senior recitals and presentations within the next week will display the years of hard work and talent of music students at John Brown University.

Students majoring in music are required to prepare either a senior recital or senior presentation before they graduate. A presentation centers around a specific theme, while the songs in a recital have unique messages.

Worship arts majors also perform senior presentations, but their presentations are specific to worship arts.

Senior music education major, Alec Warn, and senior music major, Kaitlyn Russell, will have their senior recital on Sunday, Nov. 22. They with be singing a total of 11 songs in French, Italian, German and English.

Students are responsible for planning their recitals. They must get approval from their advisers, pick out the dates of their recitals, communicate with University events and, if
two students are having their recital together, be in constant communication with their recital partner.

“The actual semester of the recital you just have a lot of practice, a lot of time spent with your accompanist,” said Warn. “We usually practice seven hours outside of our voice lesson a week, and then one hour of voice lesson.”

Warn added that students must also write the program notes that explain each song selection.

Russell said that when she started as a music major, she was already working on the pieces she is performing in her recital now.

Despite the amount of time spent for the recital, both Warn and Russell said that it is a fun process.

“By the time you get to the recital, you know the pieces so well and you are so familiar with them that you really know what you are performing rather than just singing songs,” Warn said.

“For me, the most challenging part, which is also the most fun part, is the interpretation—choosing how you are going to present the piece,” said Russell.

However, senior recital students are not the only ones working hard on preparations. Alyssa Blake, senior worship arts major, will perform her senior presentation in worship arts today.

Blake explained the planning process for the presentation.

“Some of my first steps in this process were to pick a project theme, put together a band, plan a set-list, and begin rehearsing with the band,” Blake said. “Most of what I did was find a speaker, write liturgical notes for the program, and coordinate with the speaker, dancers, AVL team and band about transitional notes.”

Blake said that the best part of preparing her presentation was finding the meaning of the theme she chose.

“My presentation is based on the story of Hosea and Gomer. Focusing on the covenant love of God, I am presenting the struggle of Gomer to remain faithful to the God who is always faithful,” she said. “I had a blast digging into the meaning of my theme and rehearsing with my wonderful band members—aka hanging out with my friends,” said Blake.