Student-Produced Senior Recitals

By Rigel Le Claire

Volume 67, No. 8

Keon Dalziel’s Senior Recital on Nov. 22. Photo by Ellie Beckner

Senior recitals are concerts put on by students graduating from the Malone music department. These seniors may invite other people to add to their performance musically, but the recital is ultimately their own to present. 

“For students who are majoring in music, part of their training and experience involves kind of a capstone event [the senior recitals],” Jason Wyse, band director and instructor of music, said. “It’s the result of their private study of their instrument, hours of practicing and developing… It’s the culmination of all of that musical training.”

Senior recitals are a chance to showcase this intensive work to the world, and serve as a final gateway on the journey to get their degree. 

“[Senior recitals] are basically [music students] taking the things they learned and they understand from music theory or their understanding of certain music style or music history and being able to apply them in a performance setting,” Keon Dalziel, senior music major, said. 

As the director of the entire performance, the graduating student chooses their concert repertoire. With this list of music pieces in mind, the student then decides who to ask to accompany them (if the student needs accompaniment). The music instructor each student works with is there to help guide the student through these decisions.

“Senior recitals are… like a comprehensive ‘Here’s what we’ve learned; we’re ready to go out into the world to teach and perform on our instrument,’ ” Kaitlyn Fanning, senior music education major, said.

The senior is the center stage of the performance, but they are not typically alone while performing. There may be other instrumentalists on stage during different songs to add to the show and to help support the music being produced by the senior.

Most senior recitals are held in the Stewart Room in the Barn. Other than some final rehearsals, most of the practice that the students put in is done in the music rehearsal suite in the Johnson Center. Even though the practice rooms located in this suite are locked, each music student has a key. 

At the beginning of their senior year, music majors pick a date for when they will put on their recital. Seniors who are music education majors have less of a window to perform, due to student-teaching one semester of their senior year. 

Attending a senior recital is free for everyone. Family, friends, students, and anyone else in the community is welcome to attend. This year, the recitals have been and will continue to be streamed online as well.

“You will see a lot of smiling faces and a lot of happy people to support the performer,” Fanning said. “We start right on time and [beforehand] the programs are passed out. At the end, you congratulate the performer and the family may provide food for the audience. It’s really fun overall.”

Malone’s current COVID-19 procedures still apply for senior recitals. At the time of writing, the performers on stage are not required to wear masks when performing and properly distanced, however, the audience is required to be wearing masks. Please visit malone.edu/covid-updates/covid-protocols-for-fall-2021/ for updated COVID-19 regulations.

Each recital takes up to one hour. There are some exceptions, including those performed by music education majors. These students are limited to only performing a half-hour recital due to the duplicity of their major. 

Audience members should come expecting to feel a variety of emotions they may not normally feel. The recitals have a uniquely emotional theme that the performer chose ahead of time to communicate. If the audience wants the best experience, they should arrive with a little bit of emotional vulnerability.

“If someone has prepared their senior recital correctly, they should be able to communicate a certain type of emotion,” Dalziel said. “With my senior recital, there was a lot of variety of characters; I was happy in love, or rather, I was describing that scene, or there was a lot of angst I had, or a lot of contemplation that was taking place. The recital performer should be able to take their audience on a ride of emotions and feeling throughout their music.”

 It’s never too late to start experiencing music, or even to branch out into different genres of music. Senior recitals provide a rich experience that benefits all in attendance. These performances show the best Malone’s music department has to offer.

Students interested in attending upcoming senior recitals can find the full list of event dates and times on the music department’s public events calendar on the Malone website.

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