Reflection on a Recital

Last weekend I crossed a huge item off of my college bucket list: giving a collegiate-level recital!

My degree doesn’t require that I give a recital, and most of my colleagues choose not to. I completely understand why– it’s a LOT of work! Yet, I am so unbelievably happy by the outcome of this huge undertaking.

I am proud of myself for taking a challenge in life set by me alone. I am proud that the most difficult and fulfilling work I will have done this year didn’t stem from a degree plan or an advisor’s deadline. I am so thankful that I will be able to look back on this wonderful experience and know that I did this for my own fulfillment, and not because I sought to achieve a perfect grade. In fact, no one was grading me at all.

For someone obsessively driven by the pull of academic success, it was completely liberating.

I provided a program of music that was intentionally full of variety, and every piece is a personal favorite of mine. In short, after the countless hours spent in the practice room and the lesson studio, I poured my heart and soul into this music.

After a few days of basking in the emotional high of an amazing performance, I paused to reflect on this milestone experience.

A few snippets of thought:

How it felt to look out at the audience before me and realize that they were not judging strangers– they were faces of my dearest friends and family. My most loving and enthusiastic supporters.

Secretly performing a work in honor of a dear friend and teacher who recently passed away– sending the sound straight up to her heavenly dwelling.

The electrified silence as the music of the great composers provided precious bits of musical rest, and the audience held their breath.

Surprise at the effort it takes to shift emotions drastically back and forth over the course of a single hour.

Hearing from listeners that my music touched their hearts, brought them to tears, or gave them inspiration– feeling a strong connection to my purpose in life.

The sheer joy of finally having a voice to sing with after weeks of illness.

How surprising the little never-before-heard mistakes and mishaps that make a live performance truly “alive.”

The music of my own two hands bringing tears to my eyes.

It is my sincerest hope that those in attendance (and you, should you choose to watch the video below) felt the music as deeply as I attempted to convey it.

Prelude and Fugue XVI in G Minor, BWV 861—————-J. S. Bach
Wie Melodien zieht es mir—————————————Johannes Brahms
Lorelei————————————————————Clara Schumann
Intermezzo in A Major Op. 118 No. 2————————-Johannes Brahms
Haï Luli ———————————————————–Pauline Viardot
Clair de Lune—————————————————–Gabriel Fauré
Nocturne in Bb Minor, Op. 9 No. 1—————————-Frederic Chopin
The Little Horses ————————————————Aaron Copland
Love’s Philosophy———————————————–Roger Quilter
Sonata No. 8 in C Minor, Opus 13 “Pathetique” (1797)
I. Grave- Allegro molto e con brio———————–Ludwig van Beethoven
Concertino——————————————————–Cecile Chaminade

Thank you all for sharing in this mountaintop of a musical experience.

After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” ― Aldous Huxley