Music Department Recap


Student recitals and Masterworks at the Abbey

Kelsey Whaley ’15 gave her senior student recital at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 29 in Dudley Birder Hall. Whaley, a communications and media studies major and music minor, performed 12 soprano arias in four languages, three for each language. In addition to singing, Whaley also plays flute, piano and guitar.

“I love the rush I feel when I’m performing a piece. It’s very similar to being an athlete when you’re performing and all the fundamentals finally come together,” Whaley said.

Whaley currently works as a statistician for the college’s athletic department. She plans to start a career in athletic communications or sports journalism after leaving St. Norbert College but also wants to continue her involvement in music.

When asked why SNC students and others should attend student recitals, Whaley answered, “Music touches people in so many ways, and students need to be exposed to that in all different forms.”

Genevieve Gannon ’15 presented her senior student recital at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 29 in Dudley Birder Hall. Gannon is a vocal performance major and a studio art minor. Her recital included “Of Earth and Air,” a song created by Dr. Blake Henson, Assistant Professor of Music at St. Norbert College, as well as songs from operas and operettas. Gannon’s favorite piece in her recital was “Das Veilchen,” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

“It is an incredible opportunity to see quality performances given by students for absolutely free,” Gannon said in reference to student recitals. “Music students work for months to prepare for a recital and it is so rewarding to perform in front of a full audience.”

Gannon is involved in the Chamber Singers, Women’s Choir, the Opera Workshop and the St. Norbert Abbey Singers. She plans to study vocal performance at the graduate level after leaving St. Norbert College.

The St. Norbert College Chamber Singers, Men’s Choir and Women’s Choir and the Dudley Birder Chorale presented the Masterworks at the Abbey concert at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 8 in the church of St. Norbert Abbey in De Pere. The Masterworks concert has been performed annually for 41 years.

Dr. Sarah Parks, Assistant Professor of Music and Director of the Music Program at the college, conducted the men’s and women’s choirs and the Chamber Singers in individual pieces, including “August Moonrise,” by Dr. Blake Henson. The women’s choir featured Dr. Yi-Lan Niu as a soloist for “Standchen” by Franz Schubert.

Parks stated, “A concert of this scale is such a benefit to the college and community. Bringing all the performers together is a benefit unto itself, but when all are together in one concert, it becomes a great event for everyone involved, from singer to instrumentalist to conductor to audience member. This type of event really resonates the communio theme for which the college is known.”

Dudley Birder, founder and leader of the Dudley Birder Chorale, directed the members of the Chorale in a selection of songs. He also directed the Chorale and the combined college choirs in two traditional hymns, “Nunc Dimittis” by Robert Scholz and two movements from John Rutter’s “Gloria.” Accompanying the combined choirs was an ensemble of eight brass instruments, the organ of St. Norbert Abbey and a percussion ensemble including xylophone, timpani and snare drum.

“This was probably the best concert we’ve done at the Abbey for many years,” said Birder. “We had two full houses. The college choirs sang very well and I was very happy with the Chorale. It was as good as I had hoped it would be.”


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