Though she is now an accomplished vocalist, Ali Decker came to Andover intending to pursue piano and visual arts.
“As an artist, going from a pianist to a singer felt natural. As a pianist, any shy person can play an aggressive piece. But as a singer, it has to be in you to play such a character or part. That is what is new and different, but I like this aspect of it. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t come here and had stayed with the piano,” said Decker.
Since she began singing in her Junior Spring, Decker has made her mark on Andover’s music program. In Fall Term of her Lower year, Decker joined Fidelio, Andover’s classical singing ensemble.
On Sunday, Decker displayed her natural talent and showed off her ability to portray versatile characters in her Senior Recital.
To the delight of the audience, Decker switched between a monotone male voice and high female voice in her rendition of “Taylor the Latte Boy,” by Zina Goldrich. A modern piece with colloquial language, Decker changed her singing from soulful to exciting and fun. Using exaggerated hand motions, she portrayed a flirty girl admiring an oblivious waiter.
“The lyrics are very cute and ‘punny’ — my favorite line is: ‘So many years my heart has waited! Who’d have thought that love could be so caffeinated?’ I found [the song] because I watched a YouTube video of Kristen Chenoweth singing it, and I included it because I thought it was hilarious,” said Decker.
Over the course of her career at Andover, Decker says Christopher Walter, Instructor in Music, has served as a mentor. “He is so sweet, and I feel like I can depend on him to calm me down or even excite me when I am having a down day. I really respect him,” she said.
Claire Park ’16, a member of the audience, said, “Ali is truly an amazing performer. She incorporated classical pieces as well as fun more modern ones into her diverse repertoire, which made it very enjoyable. My favorite was ‘Taylor the Latte Boy’ because even though the language was more colloquial, Ali performed it very musically and theatrically.”
After the intermission, Decker continued on with several pieces from musicals, including the “Music Man” and “The Secret Garden.” “How Could I Ever Know,” from “The Secret Garden,” showed the mournful, evocative side of Decker’s voice.
“It Was a Lover and His Lass,” a poem from William Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” arranged by Roger Quilter, brightened the mood. Decker’s voice was light and sweet as it went up to reach the high notes.
“For my entire recital, I tried to have a mix of fast and slow, sad and happy. I don’t know that many musical-theatre songs, so basically I chose a good balance of fast and slow songs out of the small repertoire that I already knew,” said Decker.