Senior Spotlights: Auguste Horner & Misha Hooda

Fidelio, Andover’s classical singing group, was the starting point of the vocal careers of both Misha Hooda ’14 and Auguste Horner ’14.

To Horner, voice is a basic but expressive instrument.

“It’s the original instrument. It’s a very primal yet very refined way of expression,” said Horner.

Horner started taking voice lessons during his Upper year after joining Fidelio. Looking forward, he plans on continuing singing both on his own and with undergraduate ensembles.

Although Hooda took vocal lessons before coming to Andover and joined Chorus during her Junior year, she only became seriously committed to singing after joined Fidelio her Upper year. The approximate hour and a half Hooda allots for singing each day allows her to escape the stress of Andover.

“No matter if I have a bunch of tests or if I’m stressed, that is my time set aside for singing. Everybody is always there. And everybody is always supportive… The music community is so strong and a lot of people don’t realize that,” said Hooda.

Although Hooda does not intend to study music extensively in college, she hopes to keep it a part of her life in college through a chorus or a capella group.

“[Classical singing] just a very pure form of singing. When you’re in a choir singing a lovely classical piece, it can be so simple and yet so beautiful at the same time. Don’t get me wrong, I still love singing all other types of music, there’s just a very peaceful tone to classical music,” said Hooda.

Hooda started the recital on Sunday afternoon with a primarily Italian program. She began with “Se tu m’ami, se sospiri” by Pergolesi. The piece is sung through the perspective of a girl who appreciates her lover’s devotion, but refuses to restrict herself to love only one person. The piece consisted of several quick slides, giving it a flirty tone.

“It’s a piece I know I sang a few times when I was younger, and I’ve just always loved the melody, and it’s nice to be able to progress over the years and get better at it. That was definitely my favorite piece,” said Hooda.

Horner’s performance also included several pieces sung in a foreign language, including a set of short German pieces from “Liederkreis, Op. 39,” by Robert Schumann, who wrote the pieces based on a series of poems by Joseph Eichendorff. The pieces ranged in tone from gentle and calm to urgent and fierce.

“It was a very challenging program for both [singers], and they did so well with the memorization and everything. I try to persuade singers to sing from memory, and it makes all the difference in the world. There’s much more connection with the audience,” said Christopher Walter, Instructor in Music, who accompanied them on the piano.

Hooda and Horner ended the program with a duet from the opera “Don Giovanni,” who depicted Don Giovanni, played by Horner, attempting to seduce Zerlina, sung by Hooda.

“I thought that the way they staged [the piece] was very engaging for the audience to watch and I thought it was a very good way…to bring them together at the end,” said Rebecca Cheng ’14, an audience member.