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Senior recitals take the campus by storm

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Senior recitals, the sum of one’s academic progress and skill, all of which conspire and merge into a singular day of music, talent, and overall artistry. We’ve interviewed and featured various senior recitals in the past—highlighting seniors individually. However, last weekend, as what usually happens towards the end of the semester, the entity that is the ‘senior recital’ clustered together to such a point where four senior recitals were happening. I decided that this would be as good of a time as any, to cover the senior recital as whole for this week.

First I would to say what an amazing job the recitalists did this weekend. Truly an amazing and diverse repertoire represented and performed very well. Honestly well done.

The senior recital, in many ways, is a dance between one’s experience and one’s skill. Featuring their primary instrument of study, as well as other instrumentation they may want to feature, the senior recital is chance for the student to perform and represent their skill as a graduate of the music department.

“The themes that I chose for my senior recital were classical and jazz,” Jacob Sonnenklar ‘19 reflected, “I have been playing classical piano since I was in kindergarten and playing jazz since middle school. Between the two of them, Jazz has to be my favorite type of genre because of the freedom Jazz gives you when soloing.”

Sonnenklar’s recital took place later in the weekend, featuring the piano as well as percussive instruments such as the vibraphone.

I asked about what pieces struck them the most in their performances. What did they feel had to be featured in their recitals?

“The piece that stuck out to me the most in my senior recital was Aqua Harp, the last piece in my program,” Sonnenklar explained, “Aqua Harp is one of the animations in a video series called Animusic, which basically is a combination of the words “Animation” and “music” featuring animated instruments that can play themselves through MIDI. The first time I saw Animusic was on PBS years ago while watching TV and after watching it I became fascinated in MIDI and how it can be used to create a whole world of music.”

Curious, I checked out the video to see how it sounded myself. It was an interesting and star difference compared to hearing Sonnenklar’s live performance.

Sonnenklar also wanted to leave a message for the future music majors if Muhlenberg.

“If I were to give any advice to future Music Major students, I would tell them the following: As a student majoring in music, try to participate in the many ensembles offered at Muhlenberg. They are so much fun and offer a nice break after a long day of class.”

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