Senior puts time, energy into music recital

Shayla Waugh

Shayla Waugh

Cara Christensen has been preparing five years for one night.

Christensen, a music major, is performing her senior instrumental recital the night of Nov. 22.

“I’m nervous about the night, but mostly excited. To me this is more important than graduation,” Christensen said. “I would rather have my friends come to this than graduation; this is what I have been doing for five years, performing. Basically it is the culmination of your college career.”

Six students are performing recitals this semester, said Dr. Corliss Johnson, head of the SDSU Music Department. He stated that the recital process begins long before the actual recital.

Students are only allowed to do a recital after they have been accepted into the upper level music studies, which are a minimum of three semesters.

Then the students take a special performance test that involves playing before a “jury” of faculty members and answering a series of questions covering the performed pieces. Based on this test, the “jury” then decides whether the student may or may not schedule a recital.

“The recital is a capstone event for students. It synthesizes all the information they have learned in previous classes into one musical moment,” Johnson said.

He said that the recital is graded and tied to the applied lesson work. To successfully complete the recital, students must demonstrate the ability to perform several different styles of music in a classical sense.

Music recitals are required of all SDSU music majors. Students can choose to perform either a shared or a solo recital. The shared recital requires 25 to 30 minutes of music of each student that performs. The solo recital, which Christensen will perform, requires that the student play 50 minutes to an hour.

A fifth-year senior, Christensen will perform five selected pieces for her recital. Among them are a Giuseppe Torelli piece on the piccolo trumpet and an Albinoni piece entitled Sonata #11.

Lacey Kruse, also a music major, is her accompanist. Kruse is performing a percussion recital in March and a piano recital next fall. Christensen asked Kruse last fall to be her accompanist for the recital. They’ve met several times already to rehearse the recital pieces.

“I think that the recital will go wonderfully. Cara is a great musician. We just need to keep practicing and our hard work will pay off in the end,” Kruse said.

Christensen chose her musical selections for the recital last spring. To prepare for the recital she rehearses her pieces about two hours every day.

All students usually rehearse with their accompanist six to eight times before the actual recital.

“For a brass player it’s about playing and rehearsing as much as possible so you can be in shape for the hour; so that you can end strong,” Christensen said.

Christensen, who graduated from Brandon Valley High School, first started playing the trumpet 12 years ago. She feels that two factors influenced her to attend SDSU. First was her assistant band director in high school, who was an SDSU graduate, and the second factor was the first time she saw the Pride marching band perform.

“I was in high school when I first saw the Pride perform. They were playing “Sing Sing Sing.” I saw the crowd and felt the atmosphere that the Pride created and I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of,”she said.

Christensen, whose next step before graduation is student teaching, is unclear about her plans for the future. She said she is debating between three choices – a music profession, attending graduate school or pursuing another career.

Christensen will perform her recital at 8 p.m. in the Peterson Recital Hall.