Honors Recital Echoes Student Success in Studley

Julien J. Studley Theater echoed with beautiful melodies of classical masterpieces performed by a handful of exceptional student musicians in the music department. 

On Tuesday, March 13, The Student Honors Recital featured music from the late 1600s to the mid 1900s. 

Professor Alex Peh, a classical pianist, organized the recital to showcase 10 of the most talented and hard working students within the music department. Among those students were six pianists, one cellist, one violinist and two opera singers. 

The recital started off with the soft sounds of Beethoven’s “Sonata No. 31 in A-flat major, played by well-versed pianist Robert Vetri, who was admirably unaccompanied by sheet music. The mood of the recital quickly shifted to a much darker and serious one with the stark sounds of Franz Schubert’s “Der Doppelganger” played by pianist Steven Roberts. 

Student pianist Elana Kellerhouse then brought the audience into the fast paced and staccato Frederic Chopin piece titled “Waltz No. 3 in F major.” Her excellence on the piano shined in her mastery of the instrument.

Opera singer Jessica Spradling followed with a challenging opera piece from The Old Man and the Thief. With this, she demonstrated her abilities by showcasing her dynamic range.

Pianist Matthew Parker moved the recital forward with his playing of Chopin’s “Etude No. 3 in E major.”

“It’s a little hard to focus on the emotion of the piece when you’re focusing on the notes,” Parker said. However, his performance, as well as all the others‚ showed that the students not only use their hands or voices to perform, but their hearts as well. 

After Celia Bittman effortlessly presented Bach’s “Suite No. 3 in C major,” on cello, the audience was left in awe by Dan Chiu’s impressive opera performance of a piece from Mozart’s Le Nozzi di Figaro. Chiu’s performance was exceptional due to his exceeding vocal prowess that showcased his talent. 

Zhen Su’s notable violin performance of Heinrich Wihelm Ernst’s “Last Rose of Summer” involved the challenging feat of simultaneous playing and plucking. The piece that followed was a beautifully theatrical duet of opera singers Spradling and Chiu, singing “Morte di Gilda” from Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto. 

Elizabeth Heh and Simone Evans played the last two performances of the recital, both of whom were accompanied by Professor Peh. 

Heh and Peh’s playing of Dmitri Shostakovich’s inspiring “Concerto No. 2 in F Major,” complimented each other’s musical abilities. Evans and Peh played Beethoven’s exhausting “Concert No. 3 in C Minor.” Their dynamic resembled a boxing match between keys and melodies on stage. Each musicians’ impressive performance was unique.