This past week, the music department hosted its final series of recitals highlighting the work of many of the students involved in the various ensembles including Symphonic Winds under the direction of Stephen Bell. Two senior recitals featured Kelsie Griffes and Dezirae Maffit.

Senior recitals are performances in which senior music majors showcase the work of their entire college career, as well as the work they have specifically focused on within their track within the music department.

Senior Kelsie Griffes performed her senior recital on Saturday, April 22, in which she showcased the talent she has perfected on the piano.

Senior Dezirae Maffit, a vocal performance major from Warrenville, Illinois, performed on Sunday, April 23, and reflected on her personal  journey to her senior recital. “I’ve been singing my entire life and knew I wanted to study music since my first voice lesson in 7th grade,” says Maffit. “I’ve never considered any other field of study. Music just makes sense to me and I love learning the history and theory behind all those beautiful sounds.”

Although the process for Maffit was challenging, it gave her an opportunity to have a rewarding time of becoming a better performer, trying new things, and creating a long-lasting bond with her vocal coach Jean Danton. “Jean stresses the importance of having a character and a purpose for singing each song so that I perform with real meaning. It was hard finding the fourth wall and latching on to that, but the most rewarding part was the feeling of being on stage. I crave that, and the feeling of sharing music with an audience is enough to keep me going.”

These recitals help provide the work ethic and the experience needed to better equip graduating seniors in the music department with skills that they will use every day within their fields.  Griffes and Maffit will be graduating this spring and moving on to pursue careers in music education and performance.