On Sunday, Apr. 28, juniors Emily Austin and Grace Drummond gave their stunning junior recital. It was a thrilling experience for all who attended. They pulled from a range of sources from different eras and styles. It was certainly a filling night of music from two exceptionally talented singers.
Drummond, who is pursuing a double degree in biology and vocal performance, began the evening with Michael Rivers, a piano teacher assisting with accompaniment, by performing “El’uccellino” and “Morire” by Giacomo Puccini. One would think that she could speak Italian by how comfortable she sounded with the lyrics. After some issues with the projector that was meant to provide subtitles for the audience to follow along with the Italian, the program continued with Austin, accompanied by sophomore Frances Lewelling on piano, performing five sung poems from “12 Poems of Emily Dickinson,” composed by Aaron Copland. The audience could see Austin, a double degree student in vocal performance and English, pulling from her love of English literature in this particular performance.
Drummond and Rivers then returned with some German ballads by Richard Strauss (“Standchen” and “Das Rosenband”) and Franz Schubert (“Nacht und Traume”), respectively. When it was Austin’s turn to dazzle with her proficiency in singing Italian, she performed selections from Joseph Canteloube’s “Chants d’Auvergne,” with Lewelling yet again joining her on the piano.
After that, Drummond performed two of “Six Elizabethan Songs” by Dominick Argento, “Spring” and “Sleep” and then sang “Sleep” by Ivor Gurney. These were some of the most beautiful and poetic songs of the night. In one of the most unexpected and delightful performances of the night, Austin was joined by junior Jack Murphy to sing a sweet duet as he played the piano on “You Matter to Me” from the musical “Waitress,” written by Sara Bareilles. Drummond’s final solo performance was “Somebody Somewhere” from the musical “Most Happy Fella,” written by Frank Loesser, and it felt in tune with the previous performance from “Waitress.” This critic appreciated the consistency.
The final performance of the night was a duet between Austin and Drummond with Rivers on the piano. They performed “Sull’aria” from “Le nozze di Figaro,” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, in which they supplied more of that sweet-sounding Italian. Anyone who hasn’t seen that particular opera might guess it features email correspondence of some sort, because the whole time that they were singing they were typing something out on a laptop. Who knew that they had laptops in the 1700s?
After the final song, the two performers came back out and gave thanks to their families and all the people that supported them through this process. It was nice to see how humble the two of them are. This recital was an excellent example of Lawrence’s embrace of “multi-interested,” to see two double degree performers engage in music from all over the map. To top off the evening, Drummond’s family provided vegan cupcakes at the reception that were easily some of the best baked goods this reporter has ever had.