December 1, 2020

Music faculty students, perform concert on the downfalls of love

Four performers sang both comical and traditional love songs at the concert, “Love Gone Wrong, Songs of Love Amuck” Feb. 9 in the Recital Hall in the Music Building. Nancy Mayo, adjunct professor in piano and accompanying, organized the concert. Mayo played the piano for faculty vocalists Martha J. Hart, Jeffrey R. Carter, and Victoria Carmichael and student vocalist Jonathan Foster.

Hart, music department voice teacher, welcomed the audience as she began the concert with her first song “Danny Boy.” All songs performed in the concert were divided into four different stages of love: “My Love Is Gone,” “I Wish My Love Was Gone,” “Inhuman(e)ly Disappointing” and “Love’s Sunset.”

“It was a good mix-up of stuff that was funny and entertaining ,and stuff that was just beautiful,” said Kat Menke, sophomore vocal performance major.

Menke and her friend Nora Benedict, also a sophomore vocal performance major, said they attend the music department concerts on campus weekly.

“It was very diverse. It wasn’t just one genre of music and it was very entertaining,” Benedict said.

Carter and Foster sang “Agony,” from Sondheim’s “Into the Woods.” The song includes the characters of Prince Charming from Cinderella and the prince in Rapunzel. In the song, both princes sang about the frustrations of finding the girl to fit the shoe and standing at the bottom of the tower waiting for love to come down. In the end, each prince regrets finally getting the woman they love.

Hart sang “Agnes” which illustrated a poem written by a nine-year-old boy explaining his love for the pet he wanted to marry. Other songs such as “Heart, we will not forget him,” and “Ich Grolle Nicht,” expressed true love.

Mayo was inspired to organize the concert while accompanying a voice lesson on piano last August.

“I realized how many songs are about jilted lovers or angry lovers, and I just burst out in the lesson ‘that would be a great recital program’,” Mayo said.

Mayo invited the entire voice faculty to participate in the concert by email. She said there were several faculty members that had their own recitals within a week of this concert and were unable to participate.

“Although selections were not made until this month, these four faculty members who performed were the only ones who could dedicate their time,” Mayo said.

Before the concert, Mayo said she only knew half the songs to be performed. The vocalists provided a list of songs they wanted to sing and they combined this with other traditional songs Mayo wanted performed.

Since the vocalists were very familiar with each song, Mayo worked on the musical notes for about 10 days to familiarize herself with the right keys. She and the vocalists met last Monday for dress rehearsal. This was the only rehearsal the vocalists had.

“It was something fun and none of us would have to do a full recital,” said Carter, music department chair.

The concert’s date was intentionally planned to be around Valentine’s Day.

“If we do it again next year, it would be sort of fun to do on Valentine’s Day or the day before so that you can bring your date to it. It would be a fun date concert,” Mayo said. “And if you’re not into classical music it’s a very non-threatening concert to come to.”

Mayo works for the Opera Theatre, Union Avenue Opera and is an extra for St. Louis Symphony. She also performs during student recitals on campus.

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