Students plan first recital-Reynolds Recital Hall to host premiere

Christine Hansen

Standing on a stage, exposed, to showcase talent and fulfill credit is an experience every music major gets to partake in multiple times a year here on campus.Northern Michigan University’s music department tries its best to acquaint students to this experience of being exposed in front of varied audience, as well as introducing the audience to a variety of performances. They range from soloists to quartets, art songs to sonatas, vocal to tuba, and are open to the public to enjoy.

Performance groups, such as the NMU jazz band, use the recital hall for the specific acoustics inside. Student recitals are without an admission fee. (Photo: Kristen Koehler)
Performance groups, such as the NMU jazz band, use the recital hall for the specific acoustics inside. Student recitals are without an admission fee. (Photo: Kristen Koehler)

The first student recital is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, Oct. 1 in Reynolds Recital Hall. Head of the Music Department Robert Englehart gave insight on why the department holds these recitals for both the benefit of the students and the community.

The recitals occur around five times every semester and may showcase up to 20 student artists, never exceeding an hour for performance. Englehart said he hopes to build awareness of music events.

“We get a very modest audience,” he said. The recitals occur at 4 p.m. every other Tuesday at Reynolds Recital Hall.

“Being in the afternoon on Tuesdays they are not full evening events, we don’t really attempt to build a huge audience for these,” Englehart said.  These sperformances act as a happy medium between public and in-house performances.

The goal of the department is to encourage the growth and development of students into mature performers.

“We are getting so we behave as musical adults,” Englehart said.

He said that is why these recitals are put on, not only to promote the growth of the students, but also of those who attend the recitals.

“[These are] also for the audience, some are learning to be an audience.  Most people are accustomed to pop events, whooping and hollering, talking on cell phones, which are not good for classical events,” Englehart said.

“Reynolds Recital Hall is a fantastic space, there is no sound studio, there are no microphones, this is an acoustic music space,” Englehart said. “It is a charming experience for students who haven’t witnessed it.”

Reynolds Recital Hall as a venue may also be something audiences aren’t used to, being a fully acoustic space.

As such, there is proper etiquette for the audience, just as there is proper stage etiquette for the performers.

Englehart said being on stage is an intimate experience for the artist who is vulnerable in front of everyone attending while being conscious about what musically they are trying to portray.

Things may easily go wrong, but the artist’s demeanor must never tell.  “There are apologetic expressions students will do when they should instead graciously accept the applause,” Englehart said.This recital coming up will be the first of the year.  The student performers for this one will be primarily upper classmen preparing for senior recitals.Sophomore music major Parker Serino said the concerts promise to bring good music to all who attend.

Student recitals include structured performances in the forms of solos and duets during the season. Practices occur every other Tuesday in Hedgcock. (Photo: Kristen Koehler)
Student recitals include structured performances in the forms of solos and duets during the season. Practices occur every other Tuesday in Hedgcock. (Photo: Kristen Koehler)

“I’ve been looking forward to the recitals all summer because they’re fun to play in and work toward,” Serino said. “It’s also fun to see the other musicians in the department perform and all of the talent around us.”

Englehart said there are time constraints from having students perform an appropriate timed piece when preparing for their own personal recital.

“We have students that are preparing for upper classmen recitals,” Englehart said.  “Piano students may be preparing for a three movement Beethoven sonata and then it is up to the department as to how much is enough to keep the program moving.”

This event will be taking place at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1 at the Reynolds Recital Hall, located in the Hedgcock Building.  It is open to the public and requires no admission fee.