This past Saturday, 11 Kenyon musicians across all class years performed at the Angela Waite Student Recital in Brandi Recital Hall. Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, the hall was closed to the public and the recital was instead livestreamed for about 50 people. Despite this setback, the recital went smoothly, showcasing a variety of genres and instruments.
The music department chose these students based on their exceptional performances from last December, when they performed before a jury of faculty members as part of their final grade. Those who played exceptionally well earned an invitation to play for the public last weekend.
The recital is a favorite amongst Kenyon’s music lovers because it provides a chance for the talented musicians to show off their abilities to the rest of the school. Every performance was incredible; each piece conveyed strong emotion and left the in-person audience in awe.
The night began with a stunning harp solo from Sydney Zimmerman ’22, which set the mood for the evening with a calm and challenging classical piece, called “The Minstrel’s Adieu to his Native Land.” The complexity of the instrument and piece displayed the advanced level of the performance. There was only one harpist, but every other musician that followed brought something unique to the stage. The entire recital started off with slower pieces, generally transitioning into faster and more energetic songs as the night progressed.
Over the course of the evening, the audience heard a variety of sounds, from the marimba to the classical guitar. There was also variation in genre. Although the majority of the pieces were classical, one of the final performances was the song “Pretty Funny” from the musical Dogfight. This was a particularly attention-grabbing number sung by Katie Kress ’22, who embodied the emotions with captivating expressiveness.
The recital ended with an energetic performance by Khue Tran ’25 on the piano. This was a memorable piece to finish with, though the virtual format meant that the evening ended abruptly just after.
Due to the livestream format, there were no opening or closing words, and only the moments when the students were playing were visible to the virtual audience. Despite the high number of attendees in the livestream, the whole evening felt informal and intimate. While there is no doubt that the pandemic has hampered in-person performances, this event did a wonderful job of making the recital accessible to anyone who wished to join, and all the musicians embraced the challenge of putting on a virtual recital with enthusiasm.