Arts

Sam Wright ’19 Embraces Personal Expression and Friendships in Senior Solo Recital

M. Levy/The Phillipian

Sam Wright ’19 performed a total of thirteen pieces for his Senior Solo Recital, some of which featured original songs and arrangements.


Standing tall under the warm spotlights, Sam Wright ’19 invited eight fellow singers onto the stage from the audience during his senior recital to perform “Music When Soft Voices Die,” a piece that he had composed himself. The high notes soared over the gravelly lows, and the piece ended with a standing ovation.

This past Wednesday afternoon in the Timken Room, Wright sung a total of thirteen songs, split by an intermission in the middle of the performance for his Senior recital. The first half comprised of mainly classical music, while the second half consisted of musical theater pieces that Wright had more control in choosing and arranging.

“I like musical theater more because I think old classical music is kind of repetitive, so it’s harder to make it interesting. As a performer and as a listener it’s harder to be interested I think. You have to be in the mood I feel like to listen to a piece of classical music. I think musical theater tells its own story, so you don’t have to work as hard to make it interesting,” said Wright.

In addition to his solo singing, Wright also sang pieces that involved many of his peers. Notably, he performed the piece “First Date/Last Night” with Chloe Webster ’20, a duet from the musical ‘Dogfight,’ along with his original composition.

“Well, I compose on the side, and because the Senior recital isn’t so rigidly structured, I figured it would be a good place to showcase that as well. I got a group of friends who I trusted to learn the part and put it out…. I think experience-wise it made it more fun, not only for the audience, but for me as well,” said Wright.

According to Adaeze Izuegbunam ’20, a member of the audience and chorus for “Music When Soft Voices Die,” the inclusion of pieces involving others made the overall experience much more enjoyable.

“I think even just getting to be in it was really fun. Technically I wasn’t supposed to be in it. He had asked someone else to do it and they weren’t able to come because of the musical, so one, I got to be in it, but two, I got to see my friend snap. It was really cool to see him sing pieces that he had been working on, but also present pieces that he had composed and arranged, and I think that in particular was exciting,” said Izuegbunam.

When asked about working with Wright, Izuegbunam responded that it was great getting to work alongside him in something that he had been passionate about. She also mentioned that getting to sing with him pushed her to be a better musician herself.

“He’s just a really fun guy. I feel like that’s basic, but it’s true. It’s really fun, especially because we both sing tenor, so not only am I in all these groups with him, but I also sing the same part. I think another part of it is that he’s helped me improve so much, he’s such a good musician and I think definitely working with someone of his character inspires me to work even harder,” said Izuegbunam.