Music students and faculty present annual recital program
by Annette Campbell
March means one thing at the UPEI Music Department-it's time for recitals! As the winter semester heads into the final lap, professors and students alike are busily preparing to present their musical best to Island audiences.
Things start off with a bang on Saturday, March 3rd, with vocal professor Sung Ha Shin-Bouey. Audiences will remember Shin-Bouey from her several appearances in Handel's Messiah, as well as performances at Indian River and on CBC Radio Two. Because of her heavy teaching schedule, this is only her second recital during an academic year since her arrival at UPEI in 1997. Yet as Professor Shin-Bouey says, "it is important for my vocal students to get to hear a professional vocalist in performance, and unfortunately, this experience isn't readily available in Charlottetown." Her recital will reflect a great variety of styles and eras to give the audience a wider perspective of the vocal repertoire. Shin-Bouey will be joined by her husband Stephen, a baritone, and friends, Francis Gray and Ross Osmun on piano.
As for music students, March has traditionally been the month of "senior" and "junior" recitals. Translated for the rest of the world, this means that third and fourth year music students get the opportunity to perform either a half hour or a full, one hour recital. Not just anyone is giving the occasion to do this; students must audition in December before a panel of three faculty members. If they pass the audition, they are then accorded the privilege of presenting a recital as a part of the Department of Music's Recital Series.
Allalie Bent, Kelley Carpenter, Carrie MacLellan, Jonathan MacInnis, Mark Ramsay, Christa Rehberg, and Lisa Sanderson are this year's lucky performers. All of them have been working very hard on their repertoires since last fall, but they all agree that knowing the material isn't the biggest challenge they face-it's nerves. Preparing for your first major solo appearance calls for a great deal of mental preparation in addition to actual practice time. "Ideally, you run your program through each day the week of your recital," says Jonathan MacInnis, "then you're really comfortable with the actual physical activity of performing it." Kelley Carpenter agrees, adding that she probably won't play through the whole recital on the big day. "I like spending the day of the performance relaxing, mentally imagining a flawless execution, and enjoying the music."
That's another point that all these students agree on: this is a chance to do what they love and have fun on stage. With the hard work of the year behind them, these budding professionals are ready to enjoy the excitement and satisfaction of a truly good performance. "Then, it's off to the green room for a reception and celebration," declares Lisa Sanderson.
With a group of seven performers, there will be a great variety of music this March. On March 10, Kelly Carpenter starts things off with a full senior recital on alto saxophone. Carrie MacLellan on trombone and Mark Ramsay on piano will each perform a half-hour junior recital on March 13. Senior sax-man Jonathan MacInnis will be joined by junior soprano Allalie Bent for a concert on March 22. Finally, trombonist Christa Rehberg and trumpeter Lisa Sanderson rap up the month on March 25. All senior and junior recitals are free of charge.
UPEI music students tend to dominate the ECMAs in their later careers. Come see the next generation of award-winners now at the Steel Recital Hall in March.