Graduating students show what they have learned for audiences.
For senior music students, this time of year brings stress and hard work. For audiences, it brings many great opportunities to hear quality performances. With student recitals underway, now is a great time to get a taste of what many music students have been working on for the past four years. While some recitals have already taken place, many will continue into April, giving the Mount Allison community a chance to experience what our students have to offer. Fourth-year student and trombone player Fenton Corey, will be performing his recital at Brunton on Friday evening. He stresses the work that he has put into its preparation, saying, “I started learning the music I’ll be playing on Friday last September.” Though that might seem like a long time, he notes that there are reasons why preparation begins so early. “Some pieces are very long. The longest piece I’m playing is about seventeen minutes of me playing straight, so that is a lot of music to learn just quantity-wise…Mostly, you start that early because of how long and how much [there] is.” In terms of planning their programs and choosing their repertoire, guidelines are quite open. “Mt. A is really nice…because you get to pick. At least for the brass players,” Corey explained. “I just found pieces that I want to play. It makes it easier to learn and spend that much time if you actually enjoy playing it.” Because the idea of a recital is to have as polished of a performance as possible, students are able to benefit from the help of their professors. “I get help from my teachers in a lot of ways,” noted Corey. He explains that because of small class sizes, music students actually receive a lot of special attention and at least one lesson per week. Though many senior students have a recital component that represents up to forty per cent of their grade, not everyone gets a chance to have one. “Because we only have one facility for recitals, you have to apply for one, you have to audition, and if you get a recital…it’s for credit,” Corey explains. However, Fenton also noted, “most fourth-year players do get at least a shared recital, but it’s never a guarantee.” Some students who do not focus on performance choose to forego the recital portion. For Corey, the most challenging aspect of the process is, “finding the motivation to work on the little things that make it a lot better.” It is working on the details that make a performance outstanding, even when the musician is tired or worn out. For classical players, it is polishing each piece that launches a performance from a good one to a great one. When the hard work is over, the reward comes with the enjoyment of playing a piece that the musicians have played thousands of times, and that they can now enjoy playing well. “When you get to that point, you can just really enjoy what you’re doing because the work is pretty well done,” says Corey. The greater Mt. A community can share in their accomplishments by taking in a performance or two, and supporting musicians that have worked hard over the past four years. Recitals Dates: March 21 at 8pm – Taisha Lesser with Colin Frotten March 22 at 8pm – Fenton Corey with Colin Frotten March 24, 8pm – Anna Bond with Sujin Shim April 5, 8pm – Michael MacMillan April 6, 3pm – Colin Frotten and Sujin Shim April 6, 8pm – Amelia Shiels April 7, 3pm – Kristen LeBlanc with Bradley Hachey