A senior percussion and voice recital : an honors project [thesis] (HONRS 499)
Early on in my musical career at Ball State University I had a passing thought: What if I combined percussion and vocal performance (my two areas of musical study) into one recital? As I discovered the purpose and concept behind the senior honors project the idea gained more direction, and with determination I began to plan the event. Once the date and venue were set I began to select pieces and formulate a solid program. When I was programming for the recital, one of the most important things I kept in mind was variety. Throughout my percussion and voice studies at Ball State I have covered a wide range of musical genres, styles, and challenges. Since the recital would be a showcase of these endeavors, it was important for me to create a diverse and accurate picture of my musical experience and growth.The percussion works on this program showcased my skills on three main instruments of study: snare drum, timpani, and mallet percussion (marimba, xylophone, vibraphone). The recital opened with Fanfare and Allegro, a timpani and trumpet duet. Not only did this piece make for a strong opening, but the trumpet also added a diverse timbre to the program. Both the next piece, Two Movements for Marimba and Suite "No.2 " for Solo Marimba come from the Japanese school of marimba composers, creators of a large percentage of advanced marimba repertoire. However, these two pieces are quite different. The low register pitches and sustained chords of Suite "No.2" offer a comforting contrast to the fast, atonal nature of Two Movements for Marimba. The jazzy vibraphone solo, Blues for Gilbert, provided the audience with a mood and style change while allowing me to demonstrate development in an entirely different musical genre.The middle portion of the recital program shifted the focus to vocal performance. I opened this segment with the emotionally intense aria, Ah! mio cor, from Handel's opera Alcina. Following this dramatic opening I again changed dynamics, creating a light-hearted and carefree feeling through Faure's Mandoline. With lyrics written by Ira Gershwin, the next piece, My Ship, comes from a more contemporary era. Such a selection provided the audience with something more stylistically familiar and appealing. From there the program moved back to a more operatic style with Barber's Must the Winter Come So Soon, chosen for its long melodic line and beautiful contour. The final two vocal works on the program, Mi Sueno and El pano moruno, are both based on Spanish folk songs. Spanish is often not included in the popular languages sung by most vocalists (most would think of Italian, French, and German), making inclusion of these two pieces somewhat refreshing.The third and final segment of the recital moved back to the percussion world. Four Stick Joe, a four mallet xylophone solo with marimba ensemble accompaniment, allowed me to include another important part of my percussion studies, the marimba/percussion ensemble. The snare drum pieces programmed on the recital, Delecluse #4 and #9, come from advanced concert snare drum study and are very appropriate for the graduate auditions. The final piece programmed on the recital was meant to be the musical and technical climax of the performance. Throughout this past year, the overall intensity and skill required within Zikovic's Concerto No. 2 for Marimba and Orchestra really pushed my abilities to the limit and provided me with many opportunities for growth as a percussion performer. I felt that programming this work last on the recital would be a great way to end this unique capstone experience.