Holding flowers and donning a red dress, a blushing Sophiya Chiang ’14 was serenaded by Brian Kim ’14 as part of a heartfelt musical prom-proposal. To Chiang, taking a turn listening to Kim’s rendition on the cello of Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are” was the perfect surprise finale to her Senior Recital and musical career at Andover.
The recital took place last Wednesday in the Timken Room in Graves, and dozens of Chiang’s peers, friends and family members filled the room to show support for all of her hard work and intense vocal training. The soprano showcased her vocal talent, unique style and impressive range with the accompaniment of Harvey Wu’ 14 on the piano.
Chiang’s Senior Recital, which featured a combination of five of her favorite classical songs and five of her favorite musical theater songs, was a culmination of her time spent practicing and a chance to celebrate her talent one more time before she graduates.
“I felt so blessed to see so many of my friends and family there supporting me singing,” said a proud Chiang. “Everyone gave me support along the way and congratulated me, even the people who couldn’t come to the concert. My mom and brother drove two hours from New Hampshire to come, so I was really happy that they made it all the way here.”
Chiang has been singing since she was old enough to speak and has been taking intense voice lessons for nine years. Throughout her musical career, Chiang has appreciated the love and support of her friends and family, and has used their support to challenge herself musically, expand her range, and follow her passion for singing.
“My repertoire was compiled based on showcasing the range I had, both in terms of style and ability,” explained Chiang. Chiang’s contrast between slow, upbeat, classical and musical theater songs gave the audience a chance to experience all aspects of Chiang’s voice.
Chiang began the recital by performing an energetic, playful classical song entitled “Where the Bee Sucks” by Thomas Arne. She sung it with a high pitched voice and was animated the whole time. The song is about nature and springtime and about someone being happy to be outside in the flowers “where the bee sucks.”
Shortly after, Chiang performed a powerful rendition of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again,” a slow, romantic, and passionate song from “The Phantom of the Opera.” The song provided a strong contrast to the earlier upbeat songs that Chiang performed.
“[Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again] was definitely my favorite piece and the highlight of the night,” said Chiang. “I absolutely loved the lyrics and the melody. The song is great, and I was so happy to sing it in front of everyone who came.”
Chiang’s performance was followed by a brief reception, which included Chipotle for all of the attendees. Chiang took time after her performance to talk to friends, reflect upon her Andover musical experience, and celebrate the success of her Senior Recital.
“From Chorus, to Keynotes, to Azure, singing has been a defining part of my Andover experience,” said Chiang. “I’ve been singing all my life, and I want to continue singing beyond Andover.”