This semester has been busy and challenging for me. I’m preparing a senior recital for the Department of Music to be presented Sunday, April 14, and I’m planning to perform my Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology Senior Integrative Project as part of that recital. This decision has set a major deadline for when the majority of the projects I’m working on for senior year need to be ready to be presented. While it's daunting to realize that I’ll soon be on the stage of Evans Hall performing an hour of clarinet music and my finished project for the Ammerman Center, I’ve realized as the recital nears that preparation comes in baby steps.
I take clarinet lessons twice a week. When I’m working in the practice room on tricky passages in my music, it’s sometimes hard to see the bigger picture of how this helps me in the long run prepare for my recital. However, when I go to lessons I’ll sometimes notice that my playing has improved when compared to past weeks. The challenge is that I don’t see an equal amount of progression in each lesson: Some lessons the pieces I’ve practiced even feel like I’m playing them worse than they sounded when I reviewed them the night before. It’s like the challenge of playing for another person removes my ability to play musically at times. I find these moments helpful in understanding how I need to play with confidence, as that will ultimately determine my level of success during my senior recital.
Another element of preparing for a senior recital is the expectation that I create my own program, including program notes and poster. I recently met with my adviser, Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Mathias Elmer, to begin outlining the deadlines for getting these posters printed in time by the College. Making the poster design will be convenient for me because I’ll use it as the basis for an e-invitation that I’ll email to friends and family inside and outside the College; several deans, professors and friends have been asking me for this for months, but I’ve wanted to wait until I had finalized my poster to design an e-invitation.
I feel most ready to prepare the program notes. I’ve been contributing the majority of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra’s (ECSO) program notes for their past three seasons, so I have plenty of experience writing these. However, creating a program layout for the first time has been interesting. I’ve had to make decisions about how to place composers and names of their pieces in an order that’s enjoyable to read. I pulled out old ECSO programs and even a program from my Housefellow’s recital during my junior year to get an idea of how other people do this. From there I created an outline for what I want the program to look like. However, in my meeting with professor Elmer I showed him the outline, and we immediately noticed some additions I needed to make. It’s definitely a learning experience putting this recital together, and one I look forward to celebrating the culmination of in Evans Hall soon!