By Len La Rocca
It all comes down to this — a culmination of four years of musical instruction at the Music Major Recital in Mayo Concert Hall on March 31 at 8 p.m.
On the big night for senior music education majors, flute player Ashley Krebs, and tenor singer Joseph Ahn. Both rose to the grand occasion, as family, friends and live music lovers packed the hall for a glorious performance by the musicians.
Under the spotlight, with all eyes on them, and a college career of instruction, Krebs and Ahn put on a show for the ages as they blew the roof off the hall with roaring ovations for their impassioned performances.
Accompanied by staff pianist Kathy Shanklin, Krebs kicked off the night with Mozart’s “Rondo In D Major,” which was then followed by Ahn singing poems from “Dichterliebe.” The song cycle translates to “A Poet’s Love” and derives from classical music’s romantic era. Ahn cruned songs of heartbreak and failed relations beautifully with delicate pronunciation of the German language.
Krebs followed with Charles T. Griffes’ “Poem” from her elegant, silver flute that glimmered in the spotlights. The song began with stern piano compliments of Shanklin and followed with rapid flute playing with dynamic peaks.
Back to center stage was Ahn performing Claude Debussy’s French song “Mandoline” with enthusiastic demanor and frolockingly joyous, yet simple lyrics of “La la la.”
Ahn remained on stage to perform another French song “En fermant les yeux” by Jules Massenet which translates to “Closing my eyes.” Ahn flexed his vocal prowess with sweet-sounding, elongated riffs.
Krebs concluded the first half of the recital with Louis Gamne’s “Andante et Sherzo,” toting winding, high-pitched flute playing that rapidly descended and rose with ease.
As the intermission rolled through, audience members were impressed by what they had seen thus far.
“It was great. I know both of the performers. They put a lot of hard work into it and they did an excellent job. I thought Joe was excellent with his vocals and Ashley was equally great,” said Mark Juliano, a senior music education major.
Starting the second half of the recital was Krebs performing a sonata in A minor by Carl Philipp Emanual Bach, exhibiting her masterful flute skills she has honed in her college career.
Ahn came out and performed Italian songs “Ah mai non cessate” and “Quando ti riverdo” by Stefano Donaudy. He sang with an astonishingly high reach in his vocals, as well as a crisp accent.
Ahn remained on stage to deliver a comically brilliant performance of Gioacchino Rossini’s “L’orgia,” which translates to “The Orgy.” He sang with disillusioned and drunken stance, leaning against the piano as he sang of wine and women to an audience that clamored with laughter. A thunderous applause proved that Ahn had outdone himself.
Krebs followed with Andre Jolivet’s “Chant de Linos,” as she clashed against Shanklin’s deep, dark-sounding piano with her high-pitched flute, eventually ending in unison with a ringing of the flute and a squashing of a piano key.
The show concluded with Ahn and Krebs taking to the stage, fusing their musical talent, and performing Leonard Bernstein’s “A Simple Song” together. The mix of Ahn’s brilliant vocals and Kreb’s masteful flute playing solidified their attention to perfection in their years at the College.
Shrish Jawadiwar, a sophomore political science and music double major, was inspired by their collegiate education in music put on display.
“It was really magical hearing every piece top to last,” Jawadiwar said. “By the time both Ashley and Joe were on the stage for their last song it was a perfect capstone to what had came before.”