Among the best-kept secrets in town, one stands out for me: Fort Lewis College student recitals.
Scheduled by the Music Department, they feature juniors and seniors fulfilling performance requirements for graduation.
Every performance inevitably holds a surprise.
Bristling with the desire to perform well in front of
peers, parents and teachers, young musicians plan for months, sometimes more
than a year, for their big public moment.
Each recital is about that moment. And let's not forget, the whole enterprise is all about the future.
Friday, percussion major Katrina Hedrick gave her senior recital in a packed Roshong Recital Hall. The Hedrick family
filled the front row. Students and faculty members piled into the tiered seats, and a scattering of music lovers made
up the rest of the crowd.
Hedrick performs in the FLC Symphonic Band, Percussion Ensemble, and the San Juan Symphony. A petite blonde with energy
to spare, she stands out partly because she's often embedded in a traditionally male percussion section. She also
stands out because of the way she engages the music. She's the one who all but dances between a crisp drum roll and one
ping on a triangle.
Hedrick has studied all the instruments in the percussionist's quiver, first under John Pennington and now under
Jonathan Latta. For her senior recital, she chose to perform on marimba, timpani, drum set and kalimba, a tiny African
finger board she discovered at an international percussion convention. That's how serious and exploratory she is, a
characteristic of many FLC music students.
Because Hedrick also sings, she's in the Durango Choral Society. For her recital, she formed a folk trio made up of
friends: fellow music major Laura Cowell and sister Ana Hedrick. The trio delivered a lively unaccompanied rendition of
"Didn't Leave Nobody But the Baby," pitched comfortably low for a small pack of altos. Hedrick followed up with a solo,a bluesy version of a Thelonious Monk tune, "Round Midnight," accompanying herself on marimba. Multitasking is the
lifeblood of every percussionist.
As a music critic and occasional teacher of a writing-about-music course at FLC, I have followed the development of
many student musicians. I marvel at their dedication and commitment to their instruments - and, of course, to music.
What other college major requires so many hours of solitary practice, so much dedication and the belief that hours
doing scales or practicing patterns will bear fruit, let alone be meaningful?
The free senior recitals continue Wednesday night. At
7 p.m., French hornist Amanda Rosendale will perform in Roshong Recital Hall. On Nov. 21, mezzo-soprano Kelly Zick will
sing - same time, same place.
Judith Reynolds is a Durango writer, artist and critic. Reach her at Jud_reyn@yahoo.com.