BY KYLE VAN DEN HEUVEL
What do you like to do prior to a performance to get you in the mood for performing?
On the day of a recital, it is great to try to relax as much as possible. I am a little nervous, but also very excited for this recital. Senior recitals are a little more work than junior recitals because, for the most part, you are the sole performer of an hour program whereas junior recitals are shared with another performer. I like to look over my music one last time for comfort’s sake before a performance. I also like to look at the translations of the pieces, so I can think about the English words that go along with the foreign language that I’m singing. I think the hardest thing about doing a recital is getting it started. I know in my last recitals, I was nervous for the first few songs, but started enjoying myself more as the program progressed.
Do you have any rituals you like to do before performing?
I plan on having an arsenal of supplies backstage to help me feel confident about singing during the recital. Someone told me that it was good to eat applesauce (unsweetened) before recitals and it worked really well for me last time, so I will definitely be doing that again. I also plan on having some tea beforehand as well as water with honey. Sometimes before performances I like to do a little movement or stretching backstage to shake off some of my nerves and help prepare me for the recital. I also plan on getting A LOT of sleep the night before the recital. Of course, I will also do a little warming up beforehand including some humming and vocal exercises.
What is it like to perform in front of others?
As for performing in front of others, it can be a very nerve-wracking experience. I think for vocalists, since a majority of the time music is performed memorized, one of the scariest parts of performing is the possibility that you could forget the words, miss an entrance or sing the wrong notes/rhythms. However, I feel like very thorough preparation can help relieve some performance anxiety. It is important to get in the mind-set that the performance will be great even if you make a few mistakes. For recitals, you practice so much and become so comfortable with the music that you know it forwards and backwards. I can even hear the songs (including the piano part) in my head. It’s all about getting in the proper mind-set that you have worked so hard and now it’s time to perform for supportive family members, friends and the SNC community.
Do you feel anxious for your performance at all?
I am a little nervous for this performance, but also very excited to perform for my family and friends. I also take comfort in knowing that I have a really great voice teacher and accompanist. I am accompanied by Tanner Lundquist, and I can always perform knowing that he will be there no matter what happens. Dr. Parks, my teacher, has also been very supportive of me during this time and given me great encouragement, but also suggestions for improvement. I also really enjoying singing in Birder Hall, so I am very excited to perform there again. When you really learn a song, it can become truly addictive to the point where it almost consumes your thoughts for the day until you get a chance to go work on it even more in the practice room.
What is your favorite piece that you will be performing?
I have come to enjoy performing all of my songs for my recital. I have a variety that I will be performing from classical to music theatre to jazz. I think the song I am most excited about doing is Irving Berlin’s “Blue Skies.” It is the jazzy song that will be concluding my program.
Why do you think SNC students and others should come and watch student recitals?
It is great for people in the SNC community to attend recitals as a sign of support and respect for the performer. I think attending someone’s recital really shows that you support them and are eager to hear their performance. Recitals are also a great deal of work and effort. Lastly, recitals are a great chance to hear music that you might not have heard otherwise. Often, recitals are a mix of genres and styles from numerous time periods. During recitals, performers find ways to bring these works to life and individualize them. Audience members may enjoy compositions that they never would have expected to. Birder Hall also is a great atmosphere to perform and attend a performance in. I definitely recommend that all SNC students make an effort to attend a performance there because it is a very unique experience!
Thanks to Kasara for reaching out to us with this wonderful insight!