In every performer’s life are chances to show off what they know and what they’ve learned. For athletes, it’s the games throughout the season. For actors, it’s productions and auditions. For musicians, it’s recitals. On Sunday, Nov. 21 at 3 p.m., Katie Struck, a junior music education major, will be participating in a junior recital as her showcase of what she has learned so far.
Having been preparing since the middle of May, Struck is excited to share the songs with the community. She will be singing a total of ten pieces in four different languages, ranging from Baroque opera to some contemporary musical theatre songs.
When asked to pick a favorite piece, Struck replied with “’Der Hölle Rache’ aka the ‘Queen of the Night aria.’ In the piece, the Queen of the Night tells her daughter, Pamina, to kill Sarastro, the queen’s rival, or else she will disown and curse Pamina. She is angry, vengeful and merciless and it’s so much fun to sing!”
As a junior at Northwestern, Struck is not mandated to give a recital yet, as it typically is required during one’s senior year. However, Struck decided to have a recital after an advisory meeting with Dr. Holm, who told her that people who give a junior recital have been able to give a more confident performance for their final recital.
“One of the hardest tasks to overcome is how to perform in front of others, and the best way to learn and improve in your performance abilities is simply by doing it,” Struck said.
Throughout her process of preparation, Struck has primarily been working with Cindy Moeller, NW’s vocal coach and director of Women’s Choir. “The process of putting together a recital is always a big leap in terms of preparation required. You don’t just have three minutes to tell one story-you have 30 minutes to tell a dozen stories-and you want each one to be purposeful, specific and unique!” Moeller said.
When asked about Struck’s progress, she said, “Katie is developing a beautiful, balanced tone with both brilliance and warmth, and she’s really blossoming as an expressive performer.”
Struck is also working with Janelle Phinney, who will be acting as her accompanist for the recital. Phinney adds, “I have seen her grow in her ability to sing different styles of music. She has seen how much time it takes to get a recital like this together and she has worked hard to get the practice time in and prepare adequately.”
Along with Phinney accompanying Struck, Struck’s sister, Clare Struck, will be playing flute in a piece titled “Le Rossignol.” Struck has consequentially been working with her sister and her respective instructor, Sue DeHaan, in order to organize the piece.
Struck also highlights the several other implications that giving the recital holds for her. Struck said, “When a student has a recital, it is a celebration of all that they have accomplished in the field that they intend to teach someday.”