Music To Our Ears: Colgate Seniors Perform For Their Peers



Sophia D'Addio

The caliber of musical talent at Colgate is truly exemplary and perpetually growing. With every incoming class, many new musicians join the orchestra, chamber players, wind ensemble, choirs, a cappella ensembles and jazz band. Many of the students who perform in such groups and study privately are not, in fact, music majors but devote their spare time to making music. Some of Colgate’s finest musicians have performed in a wonderful series of senior recitals over the course of this spring semester. These musicians have included sopranos Kate Rousseau, Lori Mele, Courtney Bassett and Kristen Coyne, as well as flautist Carla Jones. Clarinetist Dave Roman will be giving his senior recital on May 4th at 7:30 p.m. in Memorial chapel. In order to be considered for a senior recital, each of the members of the Class of 2005 had to submit a proposal, including a planned program of musical selections, as well as a description of his or her objectives and methodological approach.A Music and English double major, Rousseau is a young women of myriad musical talents. She began playing the piano at 7 years old, followed by a whirlwind of other instruments: percussion at 10, flute and piccolo at 13 and baritone and tenor sax at 14. She began studying voice with Robin Sellati at age 16, and participated multiple times in the Connecticut Regional Chorus, Band and Orchestra. At Hamden High School in Hamden, Connecticut, she sang in the chorus, played in the orchestra and the concert, marching, and jazz bands. In addition, she directed and choreographed the Swing Choir. Rousseau also played flute and piccolo in the Greater New Haven Youth Wind Ensemble and the Greater New Haven Youth Orchestra. And if that wasn’t enough, she sang in six musicals during high school! Her impressive talent and dedication resulted in her being voted the “Most Musical” and “Most Theatrical” by her high school class upon graduation. At Colgate, Rousseau studies voice with Neva Pilgrim, flute with Laura Campbell, and piano with Steve Rosenfeld. She has competed in the CMM & NYSMTA vocal competitions for the past two years. She is the soprano section leader of the University Chorus and also sings with the University Chamber Singers directed by Kelly Hudson. She also plays flute and piccolo in the University Orchestra directed by Marietta Cheng. In addition, Rousseau is the musical director of the Colgate Resolutions, Colgate’s original co-ed a cappella group. She has also acted and served as vocal coach with Student Musical Theatre. Last spring, she gave a junior recital as well.In her senior recital, which took place on February 26, Rousseau performed a set of six pieces by Hugo Wolf. “These pieces fit my voice really well, and I like singing in German,” Rousseau noted. She continued, saying that “the Wolf pieces also have fantastic piano accompaniment that is more equal to the voice than other pieces.” Among her other selections were the spirited, flashy arias “La Fioraia Fiorentina” by Gioacchino Rossini and “Ah! Je veux vivre” from Romeo et Juliette by Charles Gounod. She was accompanied by pianist Kerry Koen and Jones. After graduation, Rouseseau plans to relocate to New York City, where she will work for a year, and audition for some shows. She wants to attend graduate school eventually, possibly majoring in Music Education.Although she was tone-deaf as a child, Mele started taking voice lessons in 7th grade and about a year later, her tone-deafness was rectified. From 7th to 10th grade she exclusively studied theater music, but in 11th grade, she began to branch out to into the classical genre. In high school, she performed in various musicals as well as in her school choir and select chamber choir. In 2000, she was selected to sing in the prestigious All-New England choir. Her instrumental experience began with playing the flute in her elementary school band. In 7th grade, she taught herself to play piano, later accompanying various cabarets, talent shows, and choirs at her high school. Mele studies voice with Pilgrim, and is a member of the Medieval Chant Choir, directed by No?l Bisson. Last spring, she gave a junior recital. She has performed in various Student Musical Theater Company productions since her first year and has served as musical director for two of them.The program for her March 4 senior recital encompassed many genres and languages. Mele performed four Cabaret songs by William Bolcom and Arnold Weinstein, “O mio babbino caro” from Gianni Schicchi by Puccini, “Quando men vo” or “Musetta’s Waltz” from La Boheme by Puccini, aria from Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, aria from Rossini’s Stabat Mater (both in Latin), “Five Poems of Walt Whitman” by Ned Rorem, “Apres un Reve” and “Serenade Toscane” by Faure, “Obeissons quand leur voix appelle” from Manon by Massenet, “Someone Else’s Story” from Chess by Tim Rice, “A Part of That” and “Stars and the Moon” by Jason Robert Brown, and “The Wizard and I” from Wicked by Stephen Schwartz. She delighted in seeing so many familiar faces in the audience. Said Mele, “I was happy to see Dean Weinberg, Professor Lyn Rugg, Kelly Opipari, Luca Caminati, Carla Amann, and, of course, my family and lots of my friends there.” Mele plans to continue to study voice formally, and hopes to join any choral groups within her community.