Winter 2007 Studio Recital

Earlier today I held my 3rd studio recital in as many years. All of the students all did really, really well. Musically speaking, I think this was probably the strongest recital my students have presented yet. Everyone acted very professionally both on and off the stage and I was really proud of everyone. Thank you to all of the students who performed and the families who came out to support them.

2007 Winter Recital

Below you can view the program from the recital.

Guitar Recital
Sunday December 2, 2007 2:00pm
West Elementary

Katie Roberts
Dona Dona (Zeitlin/Secunda)

Robert Fish
Three Tempo Rock
Happy Birthday (Patty and Mildred Hill)

Tag Hauschild
Let It Be (The Beatles)

Carl Scott
Oh, Susanna! (Stephen Foster)
Theme from Smoke on the Water

Ellie Conrath
When The Saints Go Marching In (Traditional)

Sarah Negash
The Desert Song

David Driscoll
Amazing Grace (Spiritual)

Rosa Negash
Annie’s Song (John Denver)

Luke Reilly
Talk to your Daughter Blues (Robben Ford)

Avery Stricklin
Ode To Joy (Beethoven)

Matt McWeeny
Sultans of Swing (Dire Straits)

Jacob Henry
Purple Haze (Jimi Hendrix)

Jason Snoddy & Kyle Young
Medley: Themes from Powerslave (Iron Maiden) and Electric Eye (Judas Priest)

Alex France & Jason Snoddy
Pinball Wizard (The Who)

Special thanks to:
Studio E Music for providing additional sound equipment!
West Elementary for providing the performance space!

Planning Notes
Every recital has been a learning process for me and this today’s event was no exception. The recital was held in the Gym/Auditorium at West Elementary where my wife Melanie teaches.

Although West may not be as hip a place to perform as the locations where past recitals have been held, West did have some advantages over The Front Room or Donkey Coffee, including a parking lot (something in short supply in downtown Athens) and plenty of room for guitars and cases to be stored out of site. The 2 biggest things West lacks that the coffeehouses both offer are seating that I don’t have to set up and a house sound system and soundperson. In the future I hope to continue using area venues that can offer those two items so I don’t have to mess around with them at the last minute. I have enough other things to deal with during the final minutes before a recital – like tuning 16 guitars!

The one thing I did manage to nail this time was keeping the program to a reasonable length. We clocked in at almost exactly one hour! I also tried a few new things to keep the program rolling along:

I scheduled two recitals for the 2007-2008 season and placed a cap on how many acts would be on each program. Those that were unable to play today will have the first shot at signing up for the Spring recital. There’s no need to have one mega-recital at the end of the year in which everyone needs to be included.

In another new experiment that worked well, I created a designated “on deck” area near the stage where the next student to perform would come to sit during the preceding performance. I could briefly check in with them there and make sure they were ready go and that they didn’t have any last minute concerns. I also printed up some simple programs for the event. Although I did the programs mostly for the audience’s benefit, they really helped the performers anticipate where they needed to be and when.

Although the PA wasn’t working, I had planned to set up chairs on the stage for every possible sound reinforcement need. I had a total of four seats on the stage: 2 with accompanying amplifiers, one with a vocal mic, and another with a guitar mic. Even though most students performed solo, with this approach each student could come on stage and sit in the chair that best suited their setup rather than resetting the mic and amp placements for each individual performer. The stage looked a little busier, but it kept between-act fussing to a minimum. I may try this again at the next recital at the Front Room in 2008. Someone else will be running sound there, but it should make their life easier too.

My only regret is that I get too busy to take pictures, and the ones I did get came out a bit dark and grainy. Next time I’m going to see if I can find a student or parent with photography experience and make them the designated photographer.

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