It’s finally senior year! How’re you feeling about that?
It’s both really exciting and incredibly nerve wracking! It’s crazy to think how quickly time has passed, and how far I’ve come as a singer and performer since I first started my degree. I’m nervous about what the world will have to say about me as a musician, but also super excited to show them what I’ve got!
Besides your recital, what are you most excited about this year?
After finishing my recital where it’s just me, my pianist, and the audience, I get to immerse myself in two awesome collaborative/ensemble opportunities! This semester I will be playing the role of Presto in the Turner-Fischer Opera Center at LSU’s production of Les Mamelles de Tirésias by Poulenc, and I will be a part of the LSU School of Music’s performance of Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, one of the greatest masterworks in the Western canon. These two works are super different musically and thematically, so I’m excited to dive right into both!
What’s been your favorite experience studying music in college?
One of my greatest pleasures has been realizing the two sides of good musicianship. While many people think that music is only the “touchy feely” aspects of sentimentality, pageantry, and drama, I’ve also gotten to explore the more absolute sides of music, such as music theory, history, pedagogy and, of course, vocal technique. The marriage of preciseness and artistic license have really fascinated me, and I’m glad that I’m in a field that has the best of both worlds.
Okay, so, recital time. Let’s start with the easy question. When and where is your recital?
It’s Wednesday, February 20th, at 5:30 pm CST, in the Recital Hall in the LSU School of Music! I intend on streaming it via Facebook, so all my friends and family back home can see too!
What’s your favorite piece on your recital? Why?
I’m doing several great pieces, but I’d have to pick Till I Wake, which will coincidentally be the last song of the recital. It comes from the song cycle Five Songs of Laurence Hope which I will be performing the entirety. One of the things that I love about this song cycle is that it finds its music from H.T. Burleigh, an African-American composer living in early 20th century America, and it’s text from Adela Florence Nicolson, a young woman who wrote under the pseudonym Laurence Hope, which adds some much needed diversity to a recital comprised primarily of white male composers/poets. Till I Wake is a kind of dreamy, languid appeal of someone on their death bed asking their loved one’s to droop over them “like yellow roses in the South” that they knew in their youth, so that when the singer passes and then moves on to the next plane, they may see the faces of their beloved. It’s really pretty and very moving, and I think it’s a fitting farewell.
How has the recital process been for you? What did you have to do to prepare, and how do you feel about it all?
It’s been a MARATHON! My recital came upon me a lot more quickly than I realized it would, and I had to learn a lot of completely new music, since I recently transitioned from tenor to baritone. All the practicing time has really allowed me to hone my technique, and I am super excited to share the fruit of my labors!
If there’s only one thing you want audience members to get out of your recital, what would it be?
My recital has a LOT of themes surrounding love in it’s different facets; there’s some new young love, love that you have held closely to for years, love that was ripped away prematurely, and even love that transcends the grave. I want people to be able to appreciate love in all its forms, and I wanna convey my love for all of this great music!