A special event that only happens every two years is coming back to Mississippi College. This biennial event is the MC Music Department’s Honor’s Recital on Tuesday, February 4, in Swor Auditorium, where 13 MC music majors will perform with 20-25 members of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra.
Being selected for this event is a special honor. Out of the 30 that auditioned in November, 13 were selected. “This is the cream of the crop in the music department,” said Dottie Serio, secretary of the music department. This year, there will be two pianists, one French horn player, one percussionist, and the rest of the performers are vocalists.
This is the second music department event on campus and the first for the many of the singers who just returned from their New York trip.
“This event kicks off our spring concert events in a big way,” said Serio. “It is a really nice premiere event.” Serio is currently selling tickets for the concert at $10 for adults and $5 for any student from any school. The show will consist of 90 minutes of music, both classical and modern, from the top performers at MC.
To be included in the recital, music majors had to be recommended by their professors and audition with their selected piece on November 23 of last semester in front of three judges, all professors from other schools. The students found out the next day if they had been accepted.
The only opportunity the performers will have to practice with the Miss. Symphony Orchestra will be a 10 minute dress rehearsal and run-through the night before the concert.
Receiving the honor to perform in this recital is especially an honor for freshmen because they are very rarely selected. This year freshman Grace Hall from Forney, Texas, and Sarah Welch from Germantown, Tenn., will both perform.
Hall, a soprano, said, “I feel privileged to have been chosen to perform on the Honors Recital. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and confidence that I am following the right path.”
Welch, also a soprano, said, “I was incredibly excited. I did not expect it since I’m a freshman, so that made it even better. And it’s such a great experience.” Welch did not start performing until a few years ago in high school. “I haven’t auditioned for many things before, so I was very, very nervous.”
Welch also performed in the recent MC production of Les Miserables. She said of her time performing in New York with the rest of the MC Singers that, “getting to sing with an orchestra there in New York made me even more excited to sing with an orchestra in February.”
Landon Scriber, a senior vocal performance major from Pineville, LA, will be singing for the second time in the Honors Recital. Scriber said that it is very different to perform with an orchestra rather than with a piano. “If you mess up while performing with a piano, the piano player can cover you, but that’s not possible with an orchestra,” said Scriber.
Of his first performance with the Honors Recital, Scriber said, “I was really nervous at first, but it was a really good experience. But now I’m not nervous at all. I’m excited.” The day after the concert, Scriber will head to LSU to audition for a graduate choir conducting program.
Two international students, Thulani Mnisi from Johannesburg, South Africa, and Canjingjing Cui from Shangdong Province in Beijing, were also selected.
Warren Ertle, from Terri, Miss, will premiere a piece for marimba by a composer currently living in Ohio.
The Honors Recital performers may be among the best from the music department, but Serio says that there is not a competitive nature and that the department is very close. “We have 80 music majors and 50 of those are in the choir and travel together a lot,” said Serio, “There is a family feel. We champion each other’s causes and we support each other.”
– James Osborne, Contributing Writer