Spring junior, senior recitals mark end of semester for music department
The great deal of work and collaboration going into these recitals is well worth the deep connection to the community, according to several students.
The Bethel College music department has begun wrapping up for the semester. All junior and senior recitals over the last month have been held successfully, marking the beginning of the end of 2022-23 student concerts.
All music majors are required to perform a nearly hour-long senior recital and encouraged to have given a half-hour-long recital their junior year. Any music student taking private lessons is also given the option to hold a recital.
Over the past month, juniors Philip Balzer and Eli Regier, as well as seniors Juliana Schrag and Bryce Wilson, have successfully held recitals tailored to their musical interests, instruments, and abilities.
Just because these performances are required doesn’t mean they aren’t a major undertaking. Wilson said that he probably spent over 100 hours preparing for his senior recital and had already begun preparation last October. Schrag pulled on pieces from across her four years at Bethel and had finalized her repertoire by the fall.
“The recitals are an opportunity for students to show off the progress they have made in technique and musicianship during their time at Bethel,” said Wilson.
On a technical level, students must push themselves to polish their pieces and create a quality recital while gaining performance experience.
“For me, it was about seeing the bigger picture and gaining an understanding of why I play music instead of just playing the notes,” said Regier. “I was touched when someone came up to me after my performance and told me they had been moved to tears by the music. That connection in itself made all the hours of hard work and frustration worthwhile.”
Recitals require event planning, hours of practice, media promotion, and faculty support. “It truly takes a village,” said Wilson. He pointed to the often unrecognized work of advisors, private instructors, audio visual coordinators, media organizers, and accompanists.
“During a solo recital, the accompanist can often be overlooked. Dr. Christina Liu played some extremely difficult music at a very high level during my recital and deserves more recognition than she gets,” said Regier.
Faculty dedication, student passion, and community involvement allow the Bethel music department to thrive. “It is important that these students know that their efforts are appreciated and supported,” said Schrag.
Regier, Schrag, and Wilson all wanted the Bethel community to be aware of and hopefully attend both future recitals and upcoming music events. Regier, Schrag, and Wilson are all also members of the Bethel wind ensemble which will be performing their final concert of the year this Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium.
All best wishes from BC alum/fac. ems in Asuncion, Paraguay. Any chance that tonight's concert will be live online? --Arlo & Kathryn Kasper