Here at the University of Southern Maine, music is highly valued. The Osher School of Music “offers a personalized and opportunity-based approach to educating musicians.” This includes providing a faculty filled with performers, teachers, scholars, and mentors. A stepping stone for the seniors in the Osher School of Music is their senior recital. They spend their entire time as undergraduate students preparing for their senior recital, some also participating in junior recitals. The senior recital allows them to showcase what they have been working on while being a part of their respective programs.
In the heart of Corthell, Gabriel Reed, from Dayton, Maine, recently performed at his senior recital. Reed is a senior with a major in PK-12 education and a concentration in classical saxophone. He began to play the saxophone in fifth grade, and never gave it a second thought. The musician plays both the alto and soprano saxophone. Reed has been working towards his senior recital for all four years of his attendance here, working towards getting to the performance level necessary for a senior recital. “It is a culmination of all four years of your private lessons, technically. I’ve been working for the past year on the songs I played at my recital,” Reed states. He prepared most for his senior recital with Barry Saunders, his private instructor.
Reed participated in a junior recital as well, a year prior. Although it is not required for music education majors, he feels as though he missed out on a lot of solo performance opportunities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and wanted to better prepare himself for his senior recital by doing a junior recital. Each concentration has their own recital: instrumental (classical and jazz), vocal (classical, jazz, and musical theatre), and composition. Reed did an instrumental recital. The senior recitals are held primarily to assure that the students are fully prepared to go out and teach in the professional world outside of college.
“I felt a combination of excitement and anxiety. Looking up at a near full crowd of faces that are there just to support me felt amazing, but the anxiety of ‘what if I mess up?’ crept in my mind at the same time. As I finished my first piece, I started to feel more relaxed as time went on, and then eventually, thankful to be performing for people who care about me,” says Reed. During his performance, he played “Sonata” by Henri Eccles, “Fantasy Piece” by Ronald Caravan, “Piéce Bréve” by Eugéne Bozza, and “Concerto” by Alexander Glazunov. Reed feels as though his senior recital was the closing of a chapter. “It was a big moment, it felt like all my hard work over the past four years came to a close,” Reed states
Reed feels as though he is ready for the next chapter of his life post-college. He will begin student teaching, and hopes to be able to perform here and there. “For me, performing is just another way I can share my passion to others in a meaningful way,” says Reed. Music is everything for Reed and he enjoys sharing it with everyone, just like he did at his senior recital. After graduation, Reed hopes to find a middle school band job in Southern Maine.
For more information on upcoming events and other recitals, you can find it on the Osher School of Music website.