Senior recitals showcase music majors’ talents

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    The senior recital gives music majors the chance to showcase their talents and perform the best of their repertoires.

    Paul Cortese, the assistant director of the School of Music, said the purpose behind the senior recital series is to paint a “big picture” of what the students have done in their time at the university.

    “It is a culmination of the work that the students have been doing over four years in regards to becoming a proficient musician,” he said.

    Cortese said students must do a lot of training, skill development and practice to become a professional performer.

    “There is a lot that goes into the process of becoming a professional musician, and the senior recital is reflective of that,” he said.

    Mike Korson, a senior music education major, performed his recital on Oct. 23. He said it caused him more stress than most other music students because his recital doubled as a prescreening audition for graduate school.

    “It’s been a stressful process just because I’ve been trying so hard to perfect everything that I play,” he said.

    Preparation for his recital began in May, and he said he practiced four to six hours a day for the first few months and two to three hours a day as the performance neared. Korson, who plays saxophone, said he wants to go to Indiana University to earn his doctorate in music and hopes to teach music at the college level.

    Michelle Strickland, a senior music education major, said she practiced three hours a day to prepare for her performance on Oct. 15.

    Strickland, who also plays saxophone, said it was her first solo performance, and she performed musical pieces from three different eras in her recital.

    “Even though you’re nervous, it’s still kind of exciting because you rarely play as a soloist for a ton of people,” she said.

    When she finished with her recital, Strickland said she began to feel a sense of excitement and relief.

    “It was kind of a fast, upbeat movement, so I really had the energy and really finished out strong,” she said. “Everyone gets a little bolt of happiness in the last minute or two [of their performance].”

    Senior recitals are scheduled throughout the fall semester, and the list of performances can be found on the School of Music website. Anyone can attend the senior performances free of charge.