A Wondrous Finale: Farewell, Seniors

With the end of the year nearby, the Timken Room of Graves Hall hosted yet another set of fabulous Senior recitals performed by Allison Parr ’08 and Sophie Scolnik-Brower ’08. The two Seniors performed with profundity and great technical skill and filled Graves with their amazing music. The first to perform this past Sunday was Allison Parr ’08, a prominent soprano singer on campus. She had recently completed her memorable Senior concerto with Nicholas Gordon ’08, and she sang yet another fantastic performance. Accompanied by Christopher Walter, her beautiful singing brightened the Timken Room, soothing all members of the audience. Dressed in an eye-catching, vibrant red dress, Parr was a hit from the start. Parr sang in tune, clearly and practically flawlessly. She kicked off the performance with an elegant and pretty piece, “Se tu m’ami,” written by Alessandro Scarlatti. Her performance during this piece displayed her apparent passion and love for singing. Not only did she show no sign of intimidation, but her zeal and enjoyment was also evident through her recital. Parr’s selection of pieces was truly unique and diverse. She began with classical songs that date back to the 17th century, but later delved into the more contemporary pieces. Her most memorable piece was “Lá ci darem la mano” from Don Giovanni, written by the renowned composer, Mozart. Parr performed the duet with Dan Silva ’08 and humorously described it to the audience as “a seductive duet.” This piece required not only singing but also involved acting and gestures. The humorous routine left many in the audience in laughter, as Parr intentionally gave uneasy looks as Silva grabbed her by the hand, rubbed her hair and deliberately entertained the audience with his vulgar actions. Following a brief intermission came more contemporary pieces. Parr’s singing did not disintegrate regardless of performing for a very long time, proving her experience and stamina. Parr said, “I’m definitely continuing music in college. I’m going to major in music. I’m not so sure about grad school, but… yeah! I will definitely continue!” At 4:00 p.m., an hour after Parr’s outstanding performance, Sophie Scolnik-Brower ’08 performed her Senior recital on piano. Also dressed to impress, she wore a stunning brown dress with an elegant pink ribbon around her waist. Her amazing performance was a direct reflection of her emotion and musical virtuosity; her solo works showcased her profound technical skill. Her hit piece was the “Ballade No.3 in A-flat Major,” written by Frédéric Chopin. The piece began subtly and slowly, but ended the first half of the performance with showy hand movements and clashing sounds. After this phenomenal performance, the applause lasted so long that the audience did not allow the intermission to even begin. Frances McCormick, Instructor in Arts, “Absolutely phenomenal. It is absolutely marvelous to see young people play in such a sophisticated way. It truly, truly was inspiring to watch.” Scolnik-Brower then performed “Sonata for Cello and Piano in A Major” by Ludwig van Beethoven, with John Heroy ’08 playing the cello. The two played the duo with flawless cooperation while sharing looks to keep track of the beat and time. Their deliberate crescendo, prolonging of verses and lyricism all contributed to the greatness of the piece. The audience was left in awe of their grandiose abilities and their perfect coordination. The final piece performed this past Sunday was “Piano Trio No.1 in B Major” by Johannes Brahms. With Katie von Braun ’09, the violinist, and Rainer Crosett ’10, the cellist, this group flashily ended the performance with the grand piece. All three were perfectly cooperating, and the piece itself was simply phenomenal. The higher notes were played flawlessly by each performer. Their playing really showed the audience how much the three performers enjoyed the piece. Their hard work was somewhat obvious throughout their playing, and all three, especially Scolnik-Brower, was awarded with tremendous applause. The music department is truly sad to see these wonderful Seniors depart. Both performers are planning to continue their musical careers and will undoubtedly be successful wherever they go.