Date of Defense
Date of Graduation
The purpose of my recital was that of a showcase—a performance demonstrating the development of my skills as a trumpet player and musician during my undergraduate career. I began preparing the music performed over the break between semesters and it was the primary focus of both my private lessons and my practice sessions from mid-December through my recital at the beginning of April.
I performed four pieces: Intrada by Otto Ketting, Trumpet Concerto by Alexander Arutunian, Rondo for Lifey by Leonard Bernstein, and You’ll Never Walk Alone by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. I worked with my trumpet professor, Scott Thornburg, to select music which would allow me to demonstrate a variety of musical skills while not taxing my lip muscles to the point where my performance would be affected.
The Ketting is very mysterious in nature. As the performer, portrayed a sort of schizophrenic character having a conversation with myself that rapidly shifts between a solemn, hushed tone and an urgent panic. The Arutunian is a standard in the trumpet repertoire. It was composed as during the Communist movement in Russia, then the USSR. As a result, it is highly nationalistic and the piece is very much a fanfare; this was a typical role for brass instruments in Russia at the time. The Bernstein is a short, light, cute piece which he composed for his neighbor’s dog, Lifey. Finally, the Rodgers and Hammerstein piece was originally written for the musical Carousel . It is the musical embodiment of the values of brotherhood and helping those in need which are taught at the Madison Scouts, the drum corps of which I am a member during the summer.
Overall, my performance was decent. In the moment of performance, I allowed a little bit of nervousness and performance anxiety to creep in and allow it to affect my approach to the instrument. It did not really affect anything related to my preparation (correct notes and rhythms, dynamics, musicality and expression, etc.), but in the moment, I tensed up just a little bit and found myself “forcing” notes instead of allowing them to come out. This led to a little bit more fatigue than what I normally experienced in my preparation, so there were moments where I was producing only air with no actual tone as I tried to play. As a result, I would give myself a “B” on the performance; I was very clearly well prepared, but did not execute at the level I hoped.
Dyer, Noah, "Undergraduate Recital" (2016). Honors Theses. 2875.
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