Accompanied by her band RoughDraft, vocalist Lauren Mahoney ’23’s rendition of “Stand Up” reverberated throughout the Timken Room of Graves Hall. Her performance kick-started one of two Senior Recitals on Sunday afternoon. Audience member Amanda Dominique ’25 reflected on Mahoney’s performance.
“She did such an incredible job. I know she has been working for this for so long. She’s able to do something so difficult to do, and she did it so well. I wanted to get out of my seat at all times. If anyone saw me, I was going crazy… She was able to sing so many different genres of music in a one-hour performance and switch up with barely any break,” said Dominique.
One hour after Mahoney’s performance, cellist Reena Kijowski ’23 took to the stage. Drawing back her bow, Kijowski commenced a performance of . Audience member Lily Liu ’26 commented on Kijowski’s inspiring performance.
“I liked how everything was really sweet. Her music was obviously very good and everyone who came was very supportive. The whole vibe was just cozy and nice. After every piece, we all clapped and screamed her name… I will definitely go to more student recitals in the future because I know it’s really hard for the performers,” said Liu.
As Co-Head of Fidelio and Keynotes, Mahoney has been involved in many of Andover’s choral groups. She is also the lead singer in RoughDraft, a student-led rock band. She explained how her multi-genre recital program was a reflection of her musical journey at Andover.
“The main purpose of my recital [was] to showcase why Andover is so special, the groups that made me so happy, and why I continue to choose music. The first part was classical, that’s what I’m going to be majoring in in college. The second part was just my two chamber ensembles, Fidelio and then a quartet that the Class of 2023 started this year. The last part was with my band Rough Draft,”said Mahoney.
At Andover, Kijowski has been a member of the Chamber Orchestra for four years. She has also pursued various musical opportunities at the New England Conservatory in Boston. She described the memories behind her favorite piece that she played at the senior recital.
“[My favorite was] the last piece, ‘The Swan.’ I first heard it when I was a kid… I didn’t want to play the same instrument as my brother and I was trying to convince my parents to let me play the cello. When they heard this piece, they decided that I could do it. It’s a fairly simple piece, but being able to end my concert with it was really sentimental,” said Kijowski.
Similar to Mahoney, some pieces in Kijowskis’s program were not of the Classical music genre. She discussed the freedom that experimental works, like “Julie-O” by Mark Summers, offered her during the rehearsal process.
“‘Julie-O’ by Mark Summers was quite improvisational. There was a score to it, but I had some freedom. While practicing, I would see which type of rhythm would be better and try to fit together the notes and sound to something I liked,” said Kijowski.
Mahoney reflected on challenges she faced while learning new pieces for this recital. Nonetheless, she appreciated how her performance was representative of all her hard work over the past year.
“I’d been preparing those classical pieces for about a year now, just because of the college audition process. Learning the languages and putting it together…was definitely a struggle. The highlight was seeing the audience react to the hard work that I’ve put in for a couple of months now… [That] just made it so much better,” said Mahoney.
Both Kijowski and Mahoney expressed appreciation for close friends and family that came to watch their performances. Mahoney’s vocal instructor, Jessica McCormack, reflected on the diversity of Mahoney’s program and the range of emotions she conveyed.
“It was really fun watching from the balcony. Not just her emotions but also how the audience reacted to her. It was a really heartwarming thing to witness. She had everything from the over-the-top [drama] in the Handel aria, to more hopeful moments [in] ‘Rise Up. ‘‘Stand Up’ [had] a very energetic affirmative vibe. The Lady Gaga song was also very reflective,” said McCormack.