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Junior Certificate candidates voice their passion for music in annual solo recital

Piano+candidate+Ihita+Mandal+%2811%29+plays+Edvard+Grieg%E2%80%99s+Etude+in+F+Minor%2C+Op+73%2C+No.+5+during+this+year%E2%80%99s+Autumn+Song.+Ihita+was+the+only+piano+candidate+to+perform+today.
Piano candidate Ihita Mandal (11) plays Edvard Grieg’s Etude in F Minor, Op 73, No. 5 during this year’s Autumn Song. Ihita was the only piano candidate to perform today.

Piano candidate Ihita Mandal (11) plays Edvard Grieg’s Etude in F Minor, Op 73, No. 5 during this year’s Autumn Song. Ihita was the only piano candidate to perform today.

Kathy Fang

Kathy Fang

Piano candidate Ihita Mandal (11) plays Edvard Grieg’s Etude in F Minor, Op 73, No. 5 during this year’s Autumn Song. Ihita was the only piano candidate to perform today.

by Kathy Fang, Photo Editor

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Autumn Song, the annual solo recital for junior Certificate candidates majoring in vocal music, musical theater and piano, invited students, faculty and family to enjoy a diverse performance of vocal and piano music today at 4 p.m. in the Nichols Auditorium.

While Autumn Song is typically called Winter Song and occurs in January, this year it was pushed forward and renamed to fit the season. Eight vocal, musical theater and piano Certificate candidates showcased the skills acquired from three years’ of Conservatory training. Each performed a two to three minute long piece, ranging from upbeat jazz songs to solemn études.

“It’s an experience for them to know what it’s like to be onstage by themselves,” vocal music teacher and mentor Susan Nace said. “Many people are used to singing in a choir or are used to being in a chorus in a musical, but not many have an opportunity to do a big solo by themselves, so that’s an opportunity for them.”

The junior performers included musical theater Certificate candidates Neha Premkumar, Ellie Lang-Ree, Abigail Wisdom and Emmy Huchley; piano candidate Ihita Mandal and vocal candidates Karli Sharp, Rithi Jayam and Kelsey Wu.

“It was really impressive how everyone else did because this was kind of the first time we’ve really seen each other perform, so it was super cool to see the amazing quality of their work,” Emmy said.

Pianists Jessica Jiang (10), Annabelle Perng (11), Max Lee (10), Karen Krause (11) and Leon Lu (11) accompanied the singers during their performances.

“I actually was kind of unprepared for the performance, so I was pretty nervous about how it would go, but I played almost everything right,” Max said. “Everyone else was just as good, if not better.”

Performers were asked to select a piece from their Certificate portfolios, the requirements of which differ depending on the focus area.

“For musical theater, they only have to have one song, so they just choose something, usually what their private teachers or their mentors give them,” Nace said. “For vocal people, they have to have certain kinds of songs for their portfolio, so that can include musical theater, but it needs to include some folk songs, some art songs—what I call art songs—and some of those need to be in certain genres and certain languages.”

Autumn Song is one of the required performances for junior Certificate candidates in vocal music and piano and is encouraged for musical theater candidates as an opportunity to fulfill a solo performance requirement. The next major recital for these candidates is Senior Showcase in their senior year in May.

Musical theater candidate Abigail Wisdom (11) performs the song “Far from Home I Love” from the musical “Fiddler on the Roof.” Abigail was accompanied by pianist Jessica Jiang (10).

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Junior Certificate candidates voice their passion for music in annual solo recital