Stephanie Yu

Stephanie Yu ’09 celebrated her birthday with a brilliant senior recital, where she showcased her talents of singing and playing the guzheng, a traditional Chinese “table harp,” in the Timken Room last Friday night. A welcoming crowd greeted Yu as she stepped out in a dazzling emerald-colored gown. The turn out for the recital was beyond Yu’s expectations. “I did not expect that many people to come,” she said. “I almost panicked when my voice teacher’s daughter, who was handing out programs, ran over and said that she had run out of pamphlets!” Yu began the recital by singing “Domine Deus” from Gloria by Antonio Vivaldi, accompanied by Steve Kim ’11 on the oboe and Mr. Walters, Instructor in music, on the piano. The jubilant melody of the song, mixed with the silky notes of the oboe and harmonious chords of the piano, filled the room. Yu then progressed through a series of short songs in various languages. Starting with the Italian pieces and then transitioning to French and German, Yu performed a variety of music including “Dormendo Stai” by Stefano Donaudy, “Le Secret” by Gabriel Faure and “Abendempfindung” by Mozart. “I am not particularly good with languages, so pulling off such a program was tough for me,” said Yu. “I worked hard with my teacher to get everything right. She recorded samples of the lyrics for me, and I listened to them every night.” She continued, “I was also interesting for me to see the stylistic differences within these songs because of the distinct languages.” Yu finished the singing portion of her recital with a sentimental duet performance of “For Good” from Wicked by Stephen Schwartz. Yu’s best friend Carolyn Han ’09 sang the alto part. Throughout the piece, the two girls seemed to be having a touching dialogue. “Our biggest fear throughout the piece was that we would burst out in tears in the midst of it!” said Han. Many audience members also found this particular song to be stirring. “I loved ‘For Good!’ I thought it was a very moving piece because two seniors were telling each other about how their friendship had changed their own lives,” said Tina Su ’11. Yu concluded her recital with two pieces on the guzheng. The two pieces, “The River of Fortune Flows into Yin City” by Fan Shang E and “Fantasia” by Wang Jian Min, were equally dramatic. Through challenging techniques, Yu created both beautiful whirlwinds of sounds and tense moments of dissonance. “When [Yu] was playing her guzheng pieces, she seemed to be in her element,” said Kerstin Brolsma ’11. Yu’s spectacular recital left the audience in awe. Not only did the varied song selection in her program illustrate her well roundedness as a performer, but as Brolsma noticed, “her love of music was embodied in her performance.”