Rather than studying for a final exam or putting finishing touches on a paper, Trinity’s music students have been performing in recitals this week to showcase all they have learned and the work they have put in this semester.

Similar to a capstone or senior project in other disciplines, the music department requires majors, and allows non-majors, to perform in recitals to combine the skills and techniques they have learned over four years into one cohesive product.

“A lot of time, energy, emotion and practice has gone into preparing for this recital,” said senior Carolina Lozano. “It is like a capstone because it uses all the skills you learned in your four years in one project that is presented to the public.”

A  40 minute piano recital gave Lozano the opportunity to play four pieces that highlighted her experience as a piano student at Trinity.

“These four pieces are absolutely the highlight of all the pieces I’ve played during my time at Trinity,” Lozano said. “My pieces range from all eras of music. I wanted my audience to share the love for each genre and composer.”

Lozano is a music minor and was not required to perform in a recital but chose to, just like junior Laurel Meister. Meister performed as part of Stephanie Key’s clarinet studio class.

“The recital featured music from many different time periods,” Meister said. “Recitals are optional for studio classes, but private lesson students who are not partaking in a recital must perform a private jury for two judges. Why not have an excuse to get dressed up and serenade the Trinity community?”

Meister says this opportunity helped her learn to play with others, as she was accompanied by a pianist. The ensemble played Leonard Bernstein’s Sonata for Clarinet and Piano.

“One of the biggest challenges for me with this concert was recognizing that, in many ways, Bernstein’s piano writing is much more technically demanding than the clarinet part,” Meister said. “I had to learn sensitivity and understand exactly how my part aligned with hers.”

On the other hand, senior Lauren York’s flute recital several weeks ago gave her the opportunity to play on her own for a change.

“I play in the wind ensemble in the symphony orchestra, but the recital showcases our talents as solo artists,” York said. “I started preparing last semester, considering that I needed to fill up 30 minutes of music, which is more than I would normally work on.”

Both Meister and Lozano say that their final pieces are the result of hours spent meditating and practicing their music as well.

“All of the technique practices I was given to work on when I practiced were absolutely needed in order for me to play these bigger pieces that require a lot of skill and endurance,” Lozano said.

Performers say that the more relaxed and supportive atmosphere allows them to enjoy and celebrate their work.

“Playing in front of an audience is always scary, but it was wonderful knowing that my friends and family were there supporting me,” York said “There aren’t as many nerves as there would be if it was a judged performance. It’s meant as more of a celebration of my work over the last four years.”

Lozano says that this experience taught her not only how to play music, but how to love it.

“I tended to get very frustrated with myself, and it was very emotionally frustrating and draining at times. However, I realized that I had lost the reason why I played music and why I wanted to do this,” Lozano said. “Any time that I play, I learned to realize that it is a celebration of music and not just something I need to do to prove myself.”

More music students will be performing in recitals in the coming weeks. For more information about the times and locations of these recitals, visit the music department website, new.trinity.edu/academics/departments/music.