Soprano Austin Nikirk was one of nine students from Gettysburg College who presented their research as part of the Kolbe Fellowship last Thursday, January 24. Phoebe Doscher described Austin's research and the other Fellows in an article for The Gettysburgian:
"Austin Nikirk '20 took an arts-oriented approach to her research and studied Floral Imagery and Birdsong in the Art Song of Amy Beach. Nikirk spoke passionately about Beach, an American composer, who pioneered women’s music performance and composition. Nikirk primarily studied Beach’s art songs, analyzing a variety of nuances in her stylistic tendencies, harmonies, and poetry. Nikirk described Beach’s modification of early strophic songs, and how she expanding upon melody and mood that was unprecedented for the time period. Ultimately, she intended to find how Beach used certain techniques to display originality and express emotion in her works. Nikirk will be singing songs by Beach during her junior voice recital at the Sunderman Conservatory of Music in March."
Of the experience, Nikirk said "it was an invaluable experience to do faculty-mentored research so early in [her] academic career. [Her] mentor, Dr. William O'Hara, was incredibly supportive of [her] many interests in the field, and helped me synthesize them into a research topic that was both challenging and inspiring." To learn more about Austin's research, and to hear her perform these pieces, see her lecture-recital on April 12 in Paul Recital Hall at 3:00pm, at the Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College.