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Davis, California

Saturday, July 13, 2024

The final performance

Imagine the last final exam of your senior year – walking into a classroom with a pencil and Scantron in hand. However, this image is a bit different for UC Davis music majors.

The culmination of an undergraduate’s college career in music concludes with a senior recital. Picture all your friends, family and faculty in one room waiting to hear the talent you have been developing for at least the past four years.

As all seniors prepare for the completion of their undergraduate experience, those graduating from the music department within the performance track must present a solo comprehensive music recital before putting on their cap and gown.

Admission into the performance track of the major involves an audition judged by a jury of academic and studio faculty members in order to distinguish between those prepared to jump and take hold of a stage, and those who may be better suited for another track. Admitted students to the performance track must present a 30-minute junior recital and a 60-minute senior recital.

Amanda Boardman, a music major studying voice as a soprano, performed her senior recital Apr. 30. As a coloratura soprano, Boardman’s rare type of voice gives her the ability to sing above an F octave. Her repertoire consists of songs in Italian, German, French and Latin, and she will be joined by pianist accompanist alumna Laura Snell for her final performance.

“To make a recital requires a lot of thought, training, being able to find the pieces, learn them, memorize them and interpret them,” said Zoila Muñoz, Boardman’s voice teacher. “You have to be pretty reliable, stable and be firm with yourself to practice.”

To graduate well-rounded students, the music department encourages students to learn all the aspects that go into managing a recital – the entire production is their responsibility, including designing and distributing fliers and posters.

Pleased with her achievements, Boardman said, “If I were to look back on this, I would think ‘How would anyone do this?'”

Boardman has recently auditioned for the Sacramento Opera and after graduating, hopes to continue pursuing her love of performing and plans eventually to teach singing.

Students typically use the entire year to prepare and plan for their senior recital. Faculty and staff attend recitals to ensure that the student has fulfilled all of the requirements. These recitals provide opportunity for performance practice.

Kimberlee Uwate, who is studying the viola, compares performing to public speaking.

“The more and more you do it, the more comfortable you are. You notice how your nerves are going to be. If I have a shaky bow, I have learned how to deal with that, and the best way is by performing.”

Uwate has already completed her requirements to graduate with three recitals and an upcoming fourth recital. After graduation, Uwate will be headed to the Manhattan School of Music for a masters program in music.

“Being [at UC Davis] has really opened my eyes to what music can be outside of just performance – like music theory, composition and history,” said Derek Kwan, senior music and math double major.

Kwan originally entered Davis as a physics major. He said the environment of the music department positively influenced him to switch majors and study percussion.

Kwan’s recital will include many unique percussion instruments such as the snare drum, djembe (an African hand drum), marimba (a five-octave wooden mallet instrument) and a vibraphone (a three-octave metal mallet instrument).

“They get a taste of what it is like to be all by yourself to sell an important piece of music,” said D. Kern Holoman, professor of music and conductor of the UC symphony orchestra. He added that the recital is a right of passage.

“It is a collaboration between the teachers and the student,” Muñoz said. “The teacher does not make the student, the student makes the teacher.”

Senior recitals will be held through the end of May. Go to music.ucdavis.edu/events to find more information.


June Quan can be reached at arts@californiaaggie.com. XXX


LAYOUT: Sidebar of schedule


Saturday, May 10, 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Kimberlee Uwate, viola.

Works include Rochberg: Viola Sonata with Peter Hill on piano, and a viola and percussion piece with Megan Shieh on percussion.


Wednesday, May 14, 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Derek Kwan, percussion.


Friday, May 23, 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Lisa Sueyres, soprano, with Laura Snell on piano.


Wednesday, May 28, 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Mary King, oboe.


Saturday, May 31, 1 to 2 p.m.

Carter Mills, soprano, with Jenny Lee on piano.

Works by Poulenc, Rodrigo, Handel, Schumann, Schubert and Britten.


Saturday, May 31, 3 to 4 p.m.

Megan Shieh, percussion.


All recitals are free admission and will take place in Room 115 of the Music Building.



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