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Post by SanDeE* » Apr 11th 2005, 6:11 pm

This past weekend I had my senior recital for music composition. It was really fun and exciting! It was a long weekend and I'm pretty tired right now, but it was worth it. A lot of my family was able to travel here to Kansas City to see the recital too, which was awesome. I had six pieces on the program:

1. a piano solo
2. a contrabass trio
3. a saxophone quartet
4. a saxophone solo
5. a cello duet
6. a funk tune

To make this recital happen, I had to compose all the music, create scores, create parts for the performers, find performers, rehearse the performers, secure a venue, contact recording people, and a whole mess load of other teeny tiny details that you can't anticipate. It was a lot of work and took up almost all my free time thus far since January 10th!

The whole recital took about 50 minutes. I was very lucky that all the performers showed up on time and the stage manager & usher showed up too. Sometimes they don't show up. Anyway, everything went very smoothly for the whole day except one little technical difficulty before the last piece - we didn't have extension cords for the bass & guitar amps. Luckily, my composition professor figured out what was going on and had a couple spare cords by chance in his car. Phew!!! My boyfriend played saxophone on three of the pieces (#3, #4, & #7) and he did just wonderfully. After the recital I had a big party at my apartment for my friends, family, and performers - so much fun! My parents brought some of my Wisconsin favorites for the party - certain types of beer & also cheese curds, etc. - and we had some Kansas City fare also: BBQ, of course!

One thing that really bothered me about my recital, though, is that hardly any of my composition peers showed up - I think maybe 3-4 out of around 50 people. It was really an embarrasement for the comp department at the conservatory. I go to EVERY Composers' Guild concert to support my peers, and I rarely have a piece of mine on those concerts. I go to EVERY Musica Nova concert. I go to EVERY New Music Reading for the Conservatory Orchestra or Wind Ensemble. I go to EVERY composition recital (although, there was another comp recital the same day as mine, but that's an exception, I would have been there if mine weren't the same day or I didn't have family in town & a party). I try my best to go to EVERY event involving the composition department to show my support & involvment.

Today I had to give a presentation on the recital process for some of my peers who haven't given their recitals yet. NOT ONE of the people I presented to were at my recital, just 24 hours earlier. I really didn't want to be the "mean teacher" and give a lecture, but I couldn't help it. I told them I was very disappointed in the department and I couldn't believe the lack of support we show our peers. They said to play a cd of the recital during the presentation, but I said, no - you could have heard it all yesterday live. You can't just skip something and expect that you can hear it later on cd. Sorry. One person said, "Some people have jobs." I said that it was no excuse. One of my composition peers took off work to be at my recital. If you are a student, that should be your #1 priority. If I had a part-time job right now, I would certainly plain ahead to have the day of a peer's recital free so I could go. Or at least switch my shift to a different time. Another person admitted he just plain forgot, and added, "I wouldn't have forgotten if you had sent a reminder email on Saturday or Sunday morning." I said, I didn't have the time to even touch my computer in the three days leading up to my recital. And besides, I SHOULD NOT have to beg my colleagues to come out to my recital. I sent an email six days before my recital. I had posters on every floor of both music buildings on campus. I had two posters in the composition lab. I had the date/time/place written on the board in the composition lab since January. I have talked (in person) to almost everyone in the composition department - between classes, after Composers' Guild concerts, etc. this whole semester. I did my part to advertise. I'm sick of having to act nice and like it doesn't bother me that the majority of my peers didn't support me when I do my best to go out of my way to support them. If they let me know before hand and wish me good luck if they won't be there, then I don't mind so much. Then I understand.

ANYWAY!!!! Sorry to rant a little bit, but seriously - I am sort of ashamed of my composition department right now. For you guys - I'm thinking of creating a website and posting a few of the tracks on there... I have to do more investigating about that but I'll post here on this thread again if and when I get that going. Overall, the recital was really great and it was the best weekend I've had all year... so far! Now I can (mostly) relax for the rest of the semester.
Um, in my room, one seam is a little off and I stare at it constantly. It's, like, destroying me.


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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Apr 11th 2005, 6:45 pm

Congratulations on your recital! It must be such a relief to have it over and done with now.

That really sucks about other people in your program not showing up. I guess I was brought up with a very rah-rah attitude at all of my school and family functions, but we always showed up to each other's stuff no matter how dreadful we knew they would be (not that I'm saying your recital was dreadful!). With my family, there had to be hospitalization to escape any of the million shows or games my sisters and I did. With my school activities, our advisors always encouraged us to be supportive. For example, some of the choir people were in the play, so the teacher made an announcement in class specifically saying that everyone who wasn't in the play should go see their peers perform. All of my advisors were like that in high school. When I was in college and advisors were in name only, we always made sure to announce when people had shows or performances or whatever and get a big group to go together to be supportive.
we had some Kansas City fare also: BBQ, of course!
YUM! I looooove barbeque!
Natasha aka candygirl ::

Look, if this is weird for you, being tutored? I don't mind helping you a little longer.
You could have sex with me if you really want to help...I guess that's a "no"?

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Post by emmie » Apr 11th 2005, 8:34 pm

congratulations on your recital!! :clap: I'm glad that you posted all the details of what you did for the concert, gives me a better idea of everything you have to do. I'm sure that it was stressful but exhilarating at the same time. I can't imagine what it would be like to have music in your head and then hear it performed by musicians. awesome!

I would be pissed too if hardly any of my peers came out to see the results of all I had been working on for so long. I'm the same as you about my film department. at the end of each quarter we have a big senior show and premiere all the graduating seniors and grad students' thesis projects. I've been to all the shows and I make a point to go to any other showings at coffee houses around town. and I absolutely expect everyone to go see my thesis film when it premieres next year. so I applaud you for letting them know that they really dropped the ball. how irresponsible not to show their support. but in the end, all that really matters is that you are happy with the performance and all your hard work!


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Post by starbug » Apr 12th 2005, 5:31 am

Wow, congrats Kristin - it sounds as though it went well, even if your peer group's attendance was lacking!

From what I understand, you weren't playing in the recital, right? It must be so incredible to hear your music performed by others. I did some composition at a fairly low level (aged 16) - one piece was flute and guitar, and one was piano and saxophone. I never got to hear them performed on the correct instruments, partly because there weren't the musicians available at school, and partly because if there was someone who played, they were too caught up with trying to rehearse something else to learn my pieces. I had to just send off the scores with a rather dreadful tape of me trying to play a piano duet with a friend. Plus I'm dreadful at scoring since I mainly play by ear, which I don't think helped!

It's disappointing that your peergroup didn't show up to support you - but in the end, it's over, your family were there, you had BBQ and a party, and I for one would love to hear what you've been working so hard on.



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Post by SanDeE* » Apr 12th 2005, 2:44 pm

Thanks for the support you guys! You are right, starbug, I did not perform on my recital. I thought I might have to on the bass trio, but luckily I was able to find three bassists. I really didn't want to perform, since I had so much other stuff to do and make sure everyone else was learning the parts - I didn't have the time to learn one of my own parts!

As for the peers not showing up - I emailed with my professor about it and he of course agreed with me that it sucked. He ended up sending a mass email to all the composers that as a whole the group has been doing a crappy job supporting each other, shame-on-you kind of email. One of the composer-students & both of the other professors emailed back with apologies, no one else... yet. Last night I went to a recital given by a friend that played on my recital. So I went to support him, and my boyfriend assisted on one song, so I went for my boyfriend also, and another friend who conducted a piece on my recital had a song of his priemered at this recital last night, so I went for him too. A lot of composers showed up, none that were there for me on Sunday. I sat in the back, I'm just not ready to talk with most of them yet. I'll be fine in a few days, but I need to take a break from them I think for a little bit.
Um, in my room, one seam is a little off and I stare at it constantly. It's, like, destroying me.


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Post by schris » Apr 12th 2005, 6:09 pm

Congrats Kristin! That sounds like it was a lot of work. Im glad every thing went well for you. I would have come to support you if I could :D

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Post by lance » Apr 14th 2005, 9:58 pm

Congrats Kristin,

:go: I am glad that things went well.
One thing that really bothered me about my recital, though, is that hardly any of my composition peers showed up - I think maybe 3-4 out of around 50 people. It was really an embarrasement for the comp department at the conservatory.
Feast or Famine...Sorry to hear about that. Events are always tough to plan and attendance is such a fickle thing. In the Five years I worked for a public library we had something like 45 going away parties for departing staff, we never had a consistent group show up. It was either 2 or 18, nothing in between.


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Post by SanDeE* » May 5th 2005, 12:43 pm

Hey again thank you guys so much for all the good wishes and support! In the aftermath of the recital, I've found that there are three main reasons composition people didn't show up:

1. They didn't know me. (lame excuse)
2. They didn't write down the date/time when they found out about it. (lazy)
3. Some of them actually DID have good reasons, but those people let me know ahead of time they wouldn't be there.

So yeah. Also, being an undergraduate composer, I think that I'm somewhat taken for granted - like people are less interested because by and large the undergrads' music is... not great usually. Which is understandable because they are undergrads, just starting out! But anyway. It surprised me because I have quite a few friends that are grad comp students. <sigh> It's over. I was never mad at particular persons, just disappointed in the department in general. But now I'm over it.

Anyway, here are a few pictures from that weekend:
Kristin on stage
Funk Tune
Kristin Backstage

I'm going to try to post some of my music on the web somewhere - if I can find a free website creator. I really don't know much about any of that stuff. I'll post the website if I can get that going.
Um, in my room, one seam is a little off and I stare at it constantly. It's, like, destroying me.


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Post by pgh kenny » May 5th 2005, 4:52 pm

Thanks for sharing pictures. I guess I should post some new ones now as I promised.

How large are music files?

You can get 15 MB of storage and web site creator at

Here's another option: ... ommunicate

The adds are a little annoying, but most of the free web servers have adds.

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