Student Recitals Offer Andover Musicians an Opportunity to Refine Skills

With several quick movements of the wrist, Amy Chung ’22 started the first movement of Paul Hindemith’s “Solo Sonata for Cello.” Her bow moved swiftly across the strings, filling the air with various chords and a flurry of notes while her fingers moved rapidly up and down the cello. Finally, the music crescendoed to a climax, then halted quickly. 

Chung was one of 14 students who performed at a student recital in Timken Room of Graves Hall this past Wednesday. The performance consisted of a variety of different instruments including cello, trumpet, viola, and piano, as well as vocalists.

“My performance went okay; most of it went well, but there were some spots that I wasn’t ready to perform and I ended up messing it up. Overall, if I had practiced a bit more I think it would have gone smoother, but I think otherwise it went pretty good,” said Chung.

Evan Tsai ’21, a double-bassist in Andover’s Symphony Orchestra, attended the recital to support his friends who were performing.

Tsai said, “Amy played very well; the Hindemith is a challenging piece. It’s not easy, but she played it very well. On a technical level, she executed it really well, but besides that there was lot of musicality in the way she played that made it that much better.”

Many of the musicians considered these recitals as a means to improve their performing skills on a stage, including trumpeter Alisa Cruger-Cain ’20, who played the first two movements of the “Hindemith Trumpet Sonata” for this recital.

“I’ve been working on [the “Hindemith Trumpet Sonata”] for an audition and my goal was to use this recital as an opportunity to practice actually playing the piece as a performance so that I could be ready for the audition,” said Crueger-Cain.

Despite feeling underprepared, Clara Tu ’21 was proud that she played the entirety of Johannes Brahms’ “Rhapsody in G minor on Piano.” Tu also viewed recitals as a way in which to sharpen up her playing skills in case she ever needed to perform on the spot.

Tu said, “A lot of the times I use these student recitals or recitals in general as a way for me to practice performing, because it’s always good to be able to perform on the spot, like at family events my mom will always be like, ‘Clara play something,’ and I’ll have to play something even though I’m not super ready for it, so these are a good opportunity for me to practice that.”

Some performers found that the student recital was conducive to their growth as musicians, as experience allowed them to become more confident. Crueger-Cain noted that her playing has improved as a result of her participation in concerts in the past.

Crueger-Cain said, “[When] you perform more regularly, you sort of get used to being on the stage, so you don’t really get stage fright or feel like it’s out of the ordinary to perform. I think since I’ve started doing these recitals, I’ve been getting better at that so that’s good.”