Year-End Recitals Well-Received

Student ensembles displayed their talents as part of the Challey School of Music’s Student
Composition Recital.

Ten student compositions premiered Saturday night at North Dakota State’s Beckwith Recital Hall.

Each contributor to Saturday’s performance fulfilled, in part, the course requirements of MUSC 484: Composition II, taught by Challey School of Music artist-in-residence Jocelyn Hagen. All students enrolled in Composition II are required to compose a piece of music to be performed at an end-of-semester recital.

Included in Saturday’s recital were four unique choral compositions, two solos for piano, a contemporary solo for vocals and guitar, a lyrical solo for mezzo-soprano, a music-theater-style solo for tenor and a robust theme for saxophone quartet.

Hagen introduced the recital, emphasizing the time and effort each student had invested in his or her composition.

Each performance demonstrated the abilities of both student composers and musicians. Performers were well-prepared and energetic. The audience remained engaged and enthusiastic throughout the roughly hour-long performance.

After the recital had concluded, I heard, “Can you believe students wrote all those?” or some variation almost a dozen times in the crowd.

My particular favorites were “Rainy Night,” an ethereal choral tableau by Tyler Berg and “Theme and Variations,” a variously intense and serene solo for piano by Katie Rolf. Every composition was remarkably advanced and reflected the talent and dedication of its student composer.

The Challey School of Music also presented its Spring Honors Recital on Sunday afternoon.

It was held in Beckwith Recital Hall and featured 11 performances. Student musicians interpreted selections as diverse as Claude Debussy’s “Nocturne,” Jocelyn Hagen’s “burn” and Mozart’s “Sonata in F.” Included in the performance were five vocalists, two pianists and four instrumentalists.

Most of the student musicians were juniors and seniors with two sophomores.

During a brief intermission, several scholarships were awarded. Most notably, a Theodore Presser Undergraduate Award was conferred to Jacoba Woodard, a junior and one of six NDSU applicants. This scholarship is awarded to students at eligible music schools across the United States and totals approximately $4,000.

The recital ran for about 90 minutes. Beckwith Recital Hall was filled nearly to capacity with family, friends and faculty members, who received the performance with enthusiasm. Each student demonstrated excellent ability. Indeed, the often challenging material was performed with apparent ease.

For detailed information on upcoming concerts, recitals and events, please visit the NDSU Challey School of Music webpage.

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