Honors Recital boasts top student instrumentalists, vocalists

The Geneseo music department presented their annual Honors Recital in Doty Recital Hall on Saturday Sept. 26. Students performing in the Honors Recital auditioned in April for the honors competition and were then selected to perform. Professor of music and department chair Gerard Floriano gave a warm welcome to the audience before the performance commenced.

Junior Megan Martel opened the night on the flute; accompanied by Linda Boianova on the piano. She gave a peaceful and heartfelt performance to Albert Périlhou’s “Ballade.” Martel has been practicing the flute for over 10 years and has been in the Empire State Youth Orchestra for three years. Her experience was certainly evident in her remarkable performance.

Soprano singer junior Francesca DiGiorgio followed Martel, singing Stefano Donaudy’s “O Del Mio Amato Ben” and Robert Schumann’s “Widmung.” DiGiorgio studies voice at Geneseo with associate professor of music Pamela Kurau and she plans to continue performing after college. She noted that she aspires to combine her passions for music and psychology by studying the benefits of music in child development.

Next up was piano player sophomore Xiangjing Chen, who performed J.S. Bach’s “Prelude and Fugue No. 15 in G” as well as Franz Schubert’s “Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 2 in E-flat.” Chen displayed incredible piano skills, dramatically absorbing herself within her performance. Chen has been studying piano since she was six years old, studying music in both China and New York City.

French horn player junior Katherine Zaslavsky took the stage next. Zaslavsky has been studying the French horn for 12 years. Zaslavsky impressively performed Franz Strauss’s “Concerto, Op. 8 (Mvts. II & III).” She was a part of Geneseo’s Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra. Zaslavsky also performed in the 2014 Honors Recital.

Alto saxophone player senior Alec Friedman followed Zaslavsky’s French horn performance. Friedman has been involved with music since he was five years old, starting with piano and switching to saxophone when he was eight years old. He played Paul Creston’s “Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano, Op. 19 (Mvt. III).” His wide range of speeds in his fun and upbeat performance of the song resonated through the hall, entrancing the audience. 

Following Friedman on the saxophone was cello player senior Harrison Hartsough’s performance of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Sonata in G for Cello and Piano, Op.19 (Mvts. II & IV).” Hartsough began with an introduction by the accompaniment piano and entertained the audience with his powerful yet graceful playing. Hartsough has been playing the cello since fourth grade. He has previously soloed in the Hochstein Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Geneseo Symphony Orchestra.

Soprano singer sophomore Brianna Kelly’s performance of Giacomo Puccini’s “O Mio Babbino Caro” from Gianni Schicchi and “Signore, ascolta!” from Turandot was wonderfully executed as she expertly belted the high notes with control and passion. Like DiGiorgio, Kelly studies vocal performance with Kurau, as well as ethnomusicology with professor of music James Kimball.

The last performer was pianist senior Shiho Azuma. Her talent shined in her performance of Chopin’s “Ballade No. 3.” Azuma’s piece was beautiful and fluid as she seemed completely engrossed in her routine. An interesting fact about Azuma is that she was raised in Japan and moved to the United States when she was 17 years old.

The Honors Recital was an excellent event to hold during Family Weekend as it was stunning representation of Geneseo students’ musical and vocal abilities.