Kerstin Brolsma ’11, a virtuoso soprano, filled the Timken Room with a euphonious air this past Sunday.
Brolsma began with four Italian songs. “Bel Piacere” by George Friderie Handel and “Deh Vieni, Non Tarder” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart were very rhythmic and had a calm and soothing effect.
Brolsma briefly departed the stage and returned with father Bruce Brolsma who accompanied her on the flute and Imogene Stulken, her mother, who accompanied her on the recorder. The Brolsma family performed the German piece, “Schafe Können Sicher Weiden,” by Johann Sebastian Bach.
The flute and the recorder, along with the piano played by Christopher Walter, Instructor in Music, provided a sweet background tune to Brolsma’s singing.
Brolsma said that “Notre Amour” by Gabriel Fauré was one of her favorite songs but also one of the most challenging.
“[It] was such a challenge to memorize because it was, first of all, in French and I don’t speak French, and second of all, it was very fast and I had to master every word to be able to sing it,” said Brolsma.
In total, Brolsma sang songs in five different languages. Brolsma said, “About a month and a half ago, I realized I wanted to memorize everything. I pressured myself to make sure I knew them all… I think it was really cool how I actually pulled it off.”
Brolsma began the second half of the recital with a more contemporary piece, Richard Hundley’s “Come Ready and See Me.” The piece’s sweet melody highlighted Brolsma’s powerful voice.
One highlight from the concert was Brolsma’s singing of the “Three Sonnets of William Shakespeare.” Brolsma explained that her father had written the music exclusively for the concert.
The Brolsma family performed all three sonnets. Frequent staccatos added a euphoric feel to the performance.
“My parents are both very musical. I have pianos in my home, not large televisions,” said Brolsma.
Brolsma invited the Fidelio Society onto the stage in her performance of “Reflections.” Brolsma’s father composed the music but Brolsma wrote the lyrics herself as a ninth grader.
One of the last two songs that marked the grand finale was Richard Rogers’ “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” from The Sound of Music that Brolsma performed with Sky Yoo ’11.
The two singers acted the parts while singing and created a delightful mood, bringing out laughter from the audience.
Towards the end, Walter, who accompanied them on the piano, also joined to sing a part. This addition was a pleasant surprise to many students as Walter does not often sing.
Brolsma concluded her concert with an astounding performance of “The Girl in 14-G” by Jeanine Tesori.
Brolsma juggled the difficulties of the piece with ease, switching from opera to dialogue effortlessly.
She said, “[It was her favorite piece] because it was really fun to sing. I’m not going to lie.”
The audience did not stop applauding when the concert was over and did not stop until Brolsma bowed in gratitude multiple times.
“I think it went really well…Now I’m a Senior and I feel like I just completed what I consider a milestone, one step closer to graduation, especially after being here for four years, it’s really incredible to be able to do this,” said Brolsma.
Walter said, “[The concert] went superbly, it was a very big and challenging program, yet she sounded fresh at the end just as how she sounded in the beginning. The variety of the choice of program was superb.”
Considering the future Brolsma said, “I’m not going to major in music [in college] but there’s no way I’m ever going to stop singing. It’s going to be a very serious hobby. Being able to have the vocal stamina to be able to sing hour and a half is very relieving and I think I can pursue it.”
Thoroughly satisfied with the concert and the opportunity to perform her solos, Brolsma said, “I love it… It’s really nice to have a shining moment before you graduate and have all your friends come and listen to you and share your love of singing, or playing an instrument.”