For many, the piano recital was a high-anxiety rite of passage, a means to sweat through whatever stiff, itchy formal wear your mother had purchased at the Kohl’s Blowout Sale especially for such an occasion.
However the performance last Thursday by Dr. Tung’s keyboard class was void of shaky fingers and uneasy audience members, instead delivering beautiful music and informal instruction.
The event, which took place in Stetson Chapel, was the second of the bi-quarterly area classes required of both music and voice students, designed to simulate a concert hall setting and allow students to gain experience playing for an audience.
“I really like it because I can hear what other people sound like and it gives me an opportunity to perform in front of people,” Liu Wai Yu said, who played a lively, contemporary piece called The Clown.
The classical pieces chosen by students ranged from modern to more traditional, creating a well-rounded program, from Hermit Thrush played by David Demarest K’17 to Consolation no. 3 by Franz Liszt played by Michaela Campos, K’20.
Though the musicians received ample applause from friends and classmates, the event felt casual. This atmosphere allowed both the audience and the performers to feel more comfortable, with Dr. Tung smiling encouragingly as each of the students played.
Senior Cody Mosblech played a piece from 1930 called Aeolian Harp, which utilizes a technique commonly referred to as “Hyperpiano.” Made famous by jazz musician Denman Maroney, it requires the pianist to strum the strings from inside the piano in addition to playing chords on the keyboard.
At Dr. Tung’s insistence, the audience clustered around the piano when Mosblech finished the piece so that they could watch a demonstration. This style of play creates a haunting sound more eery than that of a harp, but can also use objects to modify the sound. For example, Mosblech used a guitar pick in order to amplify the strumming.
For Hannah Kim, K’17, who played Chopin’s Waltz Op.34 No. 3, this evening class was just a warm-up. She announced excitedly that she would be playing for the President’s inauguration, which occurred on Saturday.