The ETSU Department of Music held the Spring Vocal Recital on March 20. The recital consisted of 17 consecutive, individual performances from the students of vocal instructors Rachel Helton, Sun-Joo Oh and Chris Plaas, accompanied by pianist Erin Raines.

The program for the night included songs of all different languages, styles and moods.

“There were both art songs and arias in the program,” said Voice Instructor Rachel Helton. “An art song is a classical composition for voice and piano that is usually a setting of an independent poem. They are intended for a formal or concert setting. Arias are pieces for voice that are taken from a larger work like an opera or oratorio. There were songs and arias in French, German, Italian and English.”

Each performance had an individual attitude and emotion behind it, and the whole recital was very engaging for the audience. The singers expressed the spirit of each of the songs through their deliberate performance and musical choices well.

For the performers, this recital was the chance to show off their mastery of the classic choral songs they individually chose and have been practicing since the beginning of this semester. The feeling of passion and seriousness among the performers was clear, all of the singers hoping to successfully prove their mastery of their art.

“While I’m on stage, I really have to keep a clear mind,” said sophomore performer Autumn Brockelman. “After it’s done, it’s always good feeling, like the performance went well, and it’s something else that we’ve accomplished.”

The recital, just as much as it was for the singers, was also for the listeners. The harmonious mix of the piano with the singers’ perfect tones of all different ranges filled the room, and through the music, the audience was collectively led through different states of emotion in every moment.

“Singing feels like a new language – a new way to communicate things that speech can’t,” said Autumn Brockelman. “Music is this universal language. It’s something that you can communicate so much with so little. You can even sing a line of notes on just one vowel, or a whole song with no words, and still communicate a message.”