Successful jury performances lead to Student Honors Recital


Taylor Egnarski

Savannah Bettin, soprano, junior vocal education major sings “I can’t be talkin’ of love” by John Duke with Rob Shepherd at piano.

Nine students performed at the Student Honors Recital held on Sunday, Jan. 31 in Brodbeck Concert Hall. The SHR showcased the hard work and excellence that University of Wisconsin-Platteville music majors and minors have shown in their jury performances. A reception was held afterwards to celebrate the achievements of each performer.

The juries are the final exams for music majors and minors each semester, Music Department Chair David Cooper said. During the jury performances, students perform a piece that they have worked on all semester in front of a faculty panel and receive suggestions and a final grade. The panel then votes on who performed the best in each genre—brass, woodwind, percussion, strings and vocal.

This semester’s SHR performers included: Savannah Bettin (vocal soprano), Ella Caswell (violin), Samantha Johnson (bassoon), Patrick Nate (trombone), Lucas Randall (clarinet), Austin Rohan (trumpet), Doug Steinberg (percussion), Kayley Tibbits (vocal mezzo soprano) and Jessica Wagner (piano).

Cooper said that SHR performers are chosen based on who “worked the hardest and killed it” at their jury performances the semester before. The jury can elect up to two students per genre and those students have to perform their jury piece. Not every genre elects a student each semester. Multiple semesters have gone by without any brass students performing because “All of them were okay, but no one was excellent,” Cooper said. Once student performers have been selected, they are not allowed to be selected again for another three semesters.

Students majoring or minoring in music go through an upper divisional exam in their fourth semester, Cooper said. If students do not pass the upper divisional exam then it is suggested that they choose a different major. If students do pass the upper divisional exam, they are allowed to perform a personal recital. Once the recital is set, students no longer have to go through the jury process.

Therefore, students who perform in SHR tend to be the younger stars of the program Cooper said. Because of their age, dedication and excellence in performance, these students have an honor, worthy of putting on their resumè.

“[The recital] showcased the excellent talent within the UW-Platteville music department,” junior music business major, Mason Hawes, said. Hawes also said that [Jessica] Wagner’s piano performance “was a beautiful piece in the way it was constructed.”

Senior Lucas Randall said he felt his performance went very well. He began rehearsing his piece during the first week of September and after this performance, he felt he had more insight on how to perform in front of a large group. Randall said he feels the recital helped him to work on his body language and musicality.

Sophomore Jessica Wagner said she felt relieved that she did not have to play her piece anymore because she feels as though she overplayed it. Wagner began rehearsing the piece last summer. However, she said she realized she was not as bad as she thought at playing piano.

Music department professors Rob Shepherd and Elaina Burns served as the faculty accompanists for Sunday’s performance. Burns felt that the students performed beautifully and were poised and professional. She spent a total of 30 minutes rehearsing with each of the students and many hours alone rehearsing her own piano piece. Burns said she wished that the students would take away from their performances the “satisfaction of performing at a high level and an increased desire to do it again.”

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