The Nontraditional Solo Hour this year will take place on Saturday, Apr. 26 at 7 p.m. in the Aven Recital Hall. While it is open to everyone, it costs $2. This event serves as a fundraiser for the National Association For Music Education.
Christa Morgan, majoring in music education with a piano emphasis, is the current president of the MC chapter of the NAFME. She explained that for non-music majors it would be understandably difficult to differentiate what solo hour is and nontraditional solo hour.
Solo hour is an opportunity for music majors to perform for their peers for an hour on Wednesdays.
Performances vary from voice, to piano, organ, and other (band instruments). It is not graded. The Solo Hour rather serves as a low-pressure environment for music majors to gain experience in front of an audience.
Non-traditional solo hour is similar to a talent show that is put on by NAFME in the spring.
The performances are much more casual and funny in contrast to the seriousness of the solo hour that requires participants to wear formal attire. Many of the people who sign up for the nontraditional solo hour decide to do silly things. Morgan says that one year some of the professors did a duet on recorders.
Again, this is not just for music majors, this is for anybody on campus; although, anybody can come to the regular solo hours. There are also no auditions.
The funds from this event allow the club to bring in music education speakers for meetings. Fundraising also allows the club to go to conferences like the American Choral Directors Association in Hattiesburg.
“We raise to go to conferences and workshops like that to learn how to be good music educators,” Morgan said. Performance types vary.
Morgan added, “People will get the opportunity to hear anything from pop to country songs. It is popular to do group performances and duets. Last year there was a percussion ensemble with garbage cans like stomp. I just want people to come. It is a good opportunity to make music and show off your talents and to just have fun.”
Jay Kucia, mathematics and computer science double major and rising junior plans to perform one of his own original songs titled “Just As Soon As I Can” in this year’s upcoming Nontraditional Solo Hour.
“I chose this piece because I am largely a songwriter, so when the opportunity is right, I want to perform original music. Nontraditional Solo Hour is a great example of such an opportunity.”
While this event has been going on for several years now, it has failed to achieve mass popularity with students on campus. This may be the result of the tightly knit society of music majors notorious for keeping to themselves. Music majors hear about it from their professors who ask them if they have signed up.
Morgan says that normally music majors are required to perform in Solo Hour. This may sound confusing, because the few differentiating characteristics between the regular Solo Hour and the Nontraditional Hour seems to be that the latter allows non-music majors to perform. And that is the beauty of it.
Kucia said, “I think that anyone with a musical talent they want to share should sign up for the Nontraditional Solo Hour. What is great about this event is that it is open to all kinds of musical talents from instrumentalists to rappers to singer-songwriters like myself. I love how Nontraditional Solo Hour really promotes diversity and the musical community of Mississippi College. I strongly encourage anyone interested to sign up.” Interested individuals will find sign up sheets on the front door of Aven Hall.
– Bethany Kuhn, Reporter