It was easy to get lost at Eastman School of Music during these last several weeks. This past month, the school has been deluged with recitals. Ranging from small, light programs to the large and dramatic, students have been rushing to present themselves before this past week’s juries.

On top of the downpour of basic recitals, many degree recitals are saved until the very end of the year. Whether for preparation, a symbolic closing or apathetic forgetfulness, the final recital for many students adds to the cavalcade of programs.

The degree recital is a clear reflection of what a student has become and what they want to achieve outside of their schooling. Rather than a beginning or ending, it is simply another peek into their personality and interests.

Daria Binkowski’s senior flute recital, which took place in November, featured modern music. Colin Wise, a senior trombonist, played an all-jazz program. Dan Pendley, another trombonist, built a classical senior recital that emphasized the lyrical nature of the trombone through vocal music. Voice students will often give recitals with several standard languages and maybe a piece they particularly enjoy in an exotic tongue.

Fitting into her personality and interests, Abby Aresty’s senior composition recital, which will be at 7 p.m., April 30 in ESM 120, will feature socially charged pieces and highlight computer music she has written recently, including a piece she wrote for the 2005 Image/Movement/Sound Festival. IMS is a collaboration between visual, dance and sound artists. Fitting into IMS’s feeling of community and group effort, Aresty’s recital, similar to many this year, will draw in performers from across the school.

She is aided by seniors Gretchen Snedeker, Binkowski, Diana Owens, Kathryn Withers, Lindsey Grant and masters student Dan Black. Her performance is more about maintaining a sense of community than an act of completion. She hopes to draw in UR sculptural artists for a large project to be performed next year in the quads.

Alexandria Le’s senior piano recital will encompass a wide range of pieces, spanning from the baroque, Bach, to the 20th century, Muczynski, as well as showcasing three different fugues, one by the often-forgotten Franck.

“I’m not sure why I made it so hard by choosing so many fugues,” Le said. However, the basic repetition and manipulation of simple motives can become addicting. Le pointed out the part of the recital many consider as important, if not more, than the performance itself – the reception.

“I’m really proud of my reception,” Le said. “I hope everyone will eat afterward.”

Of course, degree recitals are performed at all levels of gradation, as shown by You-Jin Jung’s masters degree violin recital. She will be performing Brahms, Khachaturian and Prokofiev.

“The [Khachaturian] Trio is a really charming piece,” Jung said. “The instrumentation is a bit awkward.” She is assisted by graduate students Jong Hwa Park and Sun Jae Kang.

With juries finishing up on Saturday, many juniors will begin to plan their final recitals. May their interests and individuality shine through as their quintessential, sometimes quirky, artistic sense does. I hope they can continue the sense of community that music thrives on.

Coyne can be reached at

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