By Tori Bachman-Johnson ‘12
The Georgetown College campus can expect a rare treat on Thursday, September 10 – a daytime performance showcasing GC’s own talent. The Multimedia Faculty Recital features the vocals of professor Heather Hunnicutt accompanied by student Daniel Ng on (a brand new Steinway) piano performing “December Songs,” along with the photography of Hannah Davis. The Cultural Enrichment Program event – free and especially welcoming to the public – will take place at 11 am in John L. Hill Chapel.
The name of the game is accessibility. The student-friendly time, English-language repertoire, and casual mood (as opposed to the usual evening recital atmosphere, complete with Dr. Hunnicutt in an evening gown) make for a winning combination. Topping it all off is the photography of ‘09 graduate Hannah Davis, who is now in our Graduate Education program with an emphasis in Art. The former Art and Theatre double major, Davis took a series of 10 photos to correspond with and complement each of the 10 pieces that make up December Songs. These will be projected onto a screen during the performance.
“The young generation in our country tends to trust their eyes more than their ears,” Dr. Hunnicutt said. “The addition of this visual element will bring the music to life.”
While most audience members have likely never seen these two artistic disciplines paired together, the music may be familiar. Ng, a senior from Georgetown, and Dr. Hunnicutt performed four selections from “December Songs” in September 2008, which were enthusiastically received by the audience, leading Dr. Hunnicutt to consider programming the complete cycle. Then, while the Lyric Theatre Society was performing the opera “The Secret Marriage” in Honolulu last year, Dr. Hunnicutt approached Davis with the prospect of adding photography to the performance. Davis liked the idea, and with that, the multimedia recital was born.
The “December Songs” cycle by composer Maury Yeston could be described as a pop/classical/musical theatre crossover. The songs capture the metaphorical December of a relationship – its end and all the feelings that come with it, including anger, sorrow, devastation, and finally, hope. In the penultimate song in the cycle, “By the River,” the main character stands looking out at an icy river, contemplating jumping in as she imagines the river calling to her. She has moments of resolve, deciding that she won’t go through with it, but as the song ends, the audience is left to interpret for themselves what decision she ultimately makes.
The program is rounded out with three musical theatre selections of similar thematic content – “Once Upon a Dream” from Jekyll and Hyde, “Stars and the Moon” from Songs For a New World, and “Fine, Fine Line” from Avenue Q.
Hunnicutt and Ng expect the time to go over well with their target audience of students, staff and faculty, and that other groups may even follow suit, scheduling their concerts and performances during the daytime to attract a similar crowd. For example, after last year’s winter storm, the Spring Faculty Showcase was rescheduled from its typical Sunday afternoon time to a Tuesday morning, with great success. This year, the Sunday performance of this showcase will be followed by an encore performance on the following Tuesday at 11.
“I anticipate that within two years, every Tuesday and Thursday at 11 will be scheduled with a wide variety of CEP events,” said Hunnicutt.
Upcoming Fall Recitals
- Thursday, October 8, 8pm – Michael Fogler (Guitar)
- Friday, November 6, 8pm – Michael Cannon Junior Recital
- Friday, December 4, 8pm – Sable Floyd Junior Recital
- Monday, December 7, 7pm – Students of Voice Recital