The spring semester is the season of diligent practice and utter determination for music majors as they prepare for their student recitals in the Noel Fine Arts Center.
Student recitals are a quintessential part of being a music major at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. They provide an opportunity for students to perform and showcase everything they have learned over years of study at the collegiate level.
Recitals are essentially mini concerts put on by one or two students who wish to publicly perform a number of repertoire pieces they have often spent months preparing. Recitals are approximately an hour long and take audience members on a very intimate musical journey.
While students are allowed to give a recital at any point throughout the year, most students elect to do them second semester, giving them first semester to plan and prepare.
David Schoonover, a senior vocal performance major, is one of the many musicians preparing for a recital in the next few months.
“I started in June because I knew things during the year can be so crazy,” Schoonover said.
There are many things to consider when planning a recital so starting preparations early is very common.
“I started by seeing if there were any themes I wanted to create and what languages I wanted to sing in,” Schoonover said.
Giving a recital is a graduation requirement for music majors specializing in performance so there are also a number of academic requirements that need to be met.
Zak Mixdorf, an applied bassoon major also giving a recital, outlined a few of these.
“The first thing is deciding the repertoire you want to do, and you have to meet a certain time length; then you need to find a date that works and have your teacher sign it off,” Mixdorf said.
Once students have approval from their professor of study and have selected a time and place to perform, they are able to focus more on the music itself and all of the posed challenges.
“There are always going to be road blocks, especially with an accompanist and whoever else you are working with. It is a challenge to line things up and get everything how it should be,” Mixdorf said.
Most students performing recitals feel the need to be as close to perfection as possible. A recital is their chance to be in almost complete control of what the audience is going to experience and they take this very seriously.
“I want them to sit there and think: I’ve been there, or that is me,” Schoonover said.