Abby Goodhall Senior Vocal Recital


Morgan Fuerstenberg graphic

Abby Goodhall, a graduating senior with a Music Education major with emphases in instrumental, choral and general music as well as a Music Non-teaching major with emphases in trombone and voice, performed her senior vocal recital on Nov. 6.

This previous spring, Goodhall performed her senior trombone recital and then began minor preparations over the summer for the vocal recital this semester.

Goodhall performed six sets of pieces: “Assemble!,” “Love Predicaments,” “Bells and Breezes,” “Darker Hues,” “Feeling Free” and “Recapitulation.” She performed 18 songs in total with 11 being in a non-English language.

“Six of (the songs) were brand new this semester,” Goodhall added. “The rest were pieces that I have done since, basically, freshman year … that I really fell in love with or pieces that I wanted to give another go now that I’m older and have more experience.”

Goodhall worked with her vocal instructor, Becky Demaree, to compile the pieces into the various ideas and emotions expressed through the set titles. The original plan encountered some difficulties though.

“May of 2020, I was going to do a half-trombone, half-vocal recital. (COVID-19) happened and that recital obviously was not performed. We had already talked a little bit about how we would do the pairing of pieces and the ordering of different sets.”

Plans, of course, changed with time. Goodhall and Demaree incorporated the 2020 framework of the idea-based sets with new songs. The new, revised repertoire, with months of careful thinking and consideration, grew in connection and importance.

“I just fell in love with the program. It just made a lot of sense. We always knew we would do my theater pieces last and that kind of worked in the way the program flowed … I really connected with a lot of the theater pieces and, for me, it almost makes more sense to connect with characters when it is a musical theater piece, because that’s exactly how it was designed to be performed. Whereas, the other ones, obviously, still tell a story … (but) you have to portray (the text of the poem).”

With her trombone skills, Goodhall was able to do exactly that: portray the story. On her third piece, Psalmus XCIX from Tres Psalmi Davidis by Karl Kroeger, Goodhall not only sang but also accompanied herself on the trombone via recording of her playing.

In order to keep time when she recorded her trombone part, Goodhall kept a clip track in her earbuds at all times. The clip track maintained eighth notes for her to keep pace. Then, when she sang live with her recording, she breathed and paced herself using a similar mental tactic to when she would play the trombone.

Performing her vocal recital in the fall semester gave Goodhall an additional challenge: less time.

In the spring semesters, seniors receive time from January to April until their jury performance. In the fall, however, seniors practice from September until mid-October before their jury performance then.

The jury performance was judged by, in Goodhall’s case, her vocal instructor, the other vocal instructor and the two other choral instructors.

Goodhall picked one piece to sing, then each juror must also pick a song from the student’s repertoire. If the jurors feel as though they need to or want to hear more, they will continue to call for songs. She passed her jury performance with flying stripes and concluded her musical career at UW-Platteville in triumph.

The final song of the recital, Lost in the Brass from “Band Geeks” by Tommy Newman, was a familiar tune to many of Goodhall’s fellow band members in the audience and was a special song of reminiscence, celebration and humor of her college experience.

“I started getting choked up by (one of the last lines of the song), because that was my final piece and my senior recital was almost over. I was overcome with so many different emotions about a line that was supposed to be comical, and (Keely Liska) laughed and that’s exactly what I needed in that moment to think, ‘Yeah, it’s okay, you can cry later, you’re going to sing through this and you’re going to do this piece justice.’”

*This article has been edited due to misquotations