Geneseo’s top instrumentalists and vocalists performed on Saturday Sept. 24 in the Honors Recital in the Doty Recital Hall and at the Rochester Fringe Festival. Featuring sophomores, juniors and seniors who excel at music performance, a pianist, violinist, two flutists, cellist and multiple vocalists all performed a variety of music with collaborative pianists adjunct professors of music Kevin Nitsch and Jeong-Eun Lee.
Geneseo students have had the opportunity to audition and perform in the Honors Recital for over 20 years, according to associate professor of music Amy Stanley. This is only the second year, however, that the program’s winning participants performed at Rochester’s Fringe Festival, and Rochester’s Lyric Theatre is a much larger performance space than Doty Recital Hall.
“[It’s] an excellent performance opportunity that helps students adapt to different spaces,” psychology and vocal performance double major senior Francesca DiGiorgio said.
The process of putting together this showcase—as led by adjunct professor of music and voice Joan Floriano—began almost six months ago. All students who take private lessons at the college were eligible to compete, but they had to be nominated by a professor and had to go through an audition process. This process involved two outside music professionals who selected the winners that would go on to perform in the fall semester.
At the performance, winners performed the piece or pieces they initially chose to audition with. Piano performance major junior Jason Handy said that he chose hias piece based on feedback from professors and because he felt he had a strong interpretation of the piece. Other students strived to find a sense of balance between their songs, picking pieces with contrasting tempos and themes.
“[The Fringe Festival was] a great opportunity to put Geneseo out there in the Rochester community,” vocal performance and history double major senior Noah Chichester said.
Although this is not the first time some of the Honors Competition winners have performed at the Fringe Festival, many revealed that they were both nervous and excited about this special opportunity. The overall joy that the performers emitted displayed the dedication of those involved in Geneseo’s music department.
The recital itself was a fusion of the old and new, with pieces ranging from the 18th century to contemporary. This included musical theater and communication double major sophomore Katelyn Brooks’ up-tempo rendition of “A Summer in Ohio” from the musical “The Last Five Years.”
The opportunity to hear vocalists and instrumentalists perform material from their individual repertoires—as well as the diverse and contrasting styles of music—provided for a mesmerizing and emotional show. The students selected were not only talented, but also clearly loved to perform, as each one captivated the audience with their presentation and musicianship.
The students’ commitment to performance was evident through their commandment of the stage—even in tender moments—proving that the Honors Recital is a wonderful way to showcase Geneseo’s multi-talented students.