Fridays at Four showcases female singers

by Andrea Miller

Students and members of the Walla Walla community alike gathered in Kimball Theater to hear the product of months of practice and hard work of four Whitman musicians.

At the Sept. 29 Fridays at Four concert, “Four Sopranos and a Piano,” Whitman music majors sophomore Rebecca Friedman, junior Sarah McCarthy, senior Shanna Cole and senior Jamie Lilly performed pieces they each worked on over the summer while studying with Whitman music instructor Laural Miller-Klein in Seattle. Those attending were entertained with songs sung in English, French and German. The pieces were selected from artists including John Duke, Franz Schubert, Claude Debussy and Samuel Barber.

Friedman performed a set of songs, “A Piper,” “The Bird” and “Loveliest of Trees” by John Duke. Friedman said that she learned “The Bird” first, and “liked it so much that [she] asked [her] voice teacher for more pieces by the same composer.” Friedman said that “O, Quand je dors,” by Franz Liszt, is currently her favorite song. She heard it sung elsewhere and “fell in love with it” because “it’s so intense.” Friedman says all of her pieces were fun to sing because “they’re all just happy and beautiful and about celebrating the best things in life—nature, music, love … all the best things there are.”

McCarthy sang two pieces by Gabriel Fauré and one by Franz Schubert. McCarthy’s instructor selected some of the pieces at the end of last semester and she performed the ones she worked on the most during the summer. McCarthy said “Clair de Lune,” by Fauré, was her favorite because the “music is freakishly beautiful.”

Cole sang three songs by three different composers, Claude Debussy, Franz Schubert and Aaron Copland. She said it was easier to learn the French song, “Mandoline,” by Debussy, and the German song, “Nacht and Träume” by Schubert, because the accompaniment to the English piece, “Going to Heaven!” by Aaron Copland, was “very weird.” The morning of the performance, Cole was unsure that she would be able to sing. She had been sick all week, but fortunately she and her instructor felt confident that she would be able to perform that morning.

Lilly has been working on her pieces since June. She performed four songs, “Nocture,” “A Nun Takes the Veil,” “Secrets of the Old” and “Sure on this Shining Night,”  all by Samuel Barber. Senior music major Adam Lau singled out Lilly’s last piece as one that he “really loved.”

Concert-goer and Whitman student Kodi Parsons said all the performers were “lovely singers” with “beautiful tone quality.” Fellow student Kari Berkas agreed, and added that the singers all had “good stage presence.” Berkas articulated the uniqueness of a performance such as this because it is “not as often that you get to hear solos and hear all the work they personally put in.”

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