On Friday, April 17, KO students had the exciting opportunity to perform in Recital Night, where they could showcase their talents and perform a piece of their choice.
At Recital Night, a small group of students came together and performed a wide variety of pieces in front of friends and family in Alumni Hall. With a diverse program and a large turnout, this year’s Recital Night was a success.
Creative Arts Department Chair Todd Millen has been organizing the program for around four years, after noticing that many students sing or play instruments and aren’t featured in the regular ensemble groups. “I always get requests from people coming in saying, ‘I play piano. I play guitar. Where can I play?’” he said, “and the answer has always been that our ensembles don’t really include those.” In light of these requests, Mr. Millen created Recital Night in the hopes that students who sang or played instruments independently would have the opportunity to perform during the year, as well as giving students who are nervous about performing a more laid-back venue to showcase their talents.
Preparation for the event began in January after winter break, which Mr. Millen hoped would give students who were interested in the event enough time to sign up and prepare a piece that they would want to perform. Senior Faith Potter, who performed the song “Maybe This Time,” from “Cabaret,” noted that she spent lots of time preparing for the event, practicing at home and in Alumni Hall. “Working to storytell accurately and doing character work to do the song justice was also very important to me,” Faith said. “I spent a lot of time listening to renditions and watching performances as well.”
This year’s Recital Night featured a variety of pieces, including songs from musicals such as “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Waitress,” and “Hadestown,” to classical and modern jazz songs by composers like Claude Debussy and Erroll Garner.
While Recital Night is a great opportunity for students to showcase their talents, Mr. Millen noted that it is a wonderful event in a community sense as well, with the students being incredibly supportive of one another. “They want to sit with each other, they clap for each other, there’s all encouragement,” he said. “Even if somebody makes a mistake, people still say, “You got this, you got this.’”
Faith shared a similar sentiment. “This night to me is, above all, a time to showcase passion and hard work,” she said.
While both Faith and Mr. Millen wished that there were more events for students to perform in during the school year, they both enjoyed the event and the opportunities it gives to many performers in the community. “I want to be better at promoting it next year so we can get a bigger audience to come,” Mr. Millen said. “I think we see some really fine talent that comes out of the woodwork here.”
With these sentiments in mind, we are excited for next year’s Recital Night and for the students who will perform in it for years to come.