During my graduate studies at Syracuse University, I had the opportunity to pursue different academic interests through the resources available to graduate students. Additionally, with the introduction of the pandemic during the first year of my program, I was given more time to dedicate to these projects. They are presented on this page, showcasing the work done for each project. While most of the projects were completed during my masters, the Betty Jackson King project is one that has continued past my time at Syracuse and one that I will continue throughout my life and career. If you have any questions about any of the projects, please contact me here.

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Who is Betty Jackson King?

A significant part of my graduate studies at Syracuse University revolved around the independent study and performance of the music of African-American-female-composer Betty Jackson King. Born in 1928 Chicago, Ms. King was exposed to music, especially that of the African-American spiritual, through her musical parents. She became an accomplished pianist, organist, choral educator, and composer, writing over 100+ works. Although known for her spiritual arrangements, a considerable amount of her work goes un-performed, leaving her out of the academic and performing canon, one which is dominated by European-white-male composers.

My graduate II recital, like most other performances between March 2020-March 2021, was limited to virtual viewing (with the exception of 10 people within the SU community). One of the understated losses of virtual streaming is the time to sit in your seat before the start of any performance. It is in that time that you usually have the chance to read the program of the event, as well as any program notes. These short and often fleeting moments are truly important, as an audience member, to relax and settle into the mode of listening to the events that are about to take place. They also allow you an opportunity to learn about the music. Aiming to preserve this tradition, despite the barriers for in-person experiences due to the pandemic, I shared a virtual-program-note series through a Facebook event page for the recital. Over a period of 10 days leading up to the recital, I posted videos, recordings, self created pdfs, and blurbs about pieces or sections of my recital, as well as information about the composer or piece that would aide the listener in what to listen for during the recital. This series reached over 4,500 people. 

The process of researching these pieces and creating streamlined posts for the audience was not only informative for me as an academic, but also as a performer. In fact, my interpretation and performing improved through the whole process, particularly with the first movement of the Beethoven sonata. Additionally, I received positive feedback from audience members who looked forward to the upcoming posts, and from those that found the information helpful during the recital stream. Below I've included the Facebook posts themselves, as well as a link to video selections from the recital. 

My graduate II recital, like most other performances between March 2020-March 2021, was limited to virtual viewing (with the exception of 10 people within the SU community). One of the understated losses of virtual streaming is the time to sit in your seat before the start of any performance. It is in that time that you usually have the chance to read the program of the event, as well as any program notes. These short and often fleeting moments are truly important, as an audience member, to relax and settle into the mode of listening to the events that are about to take place. They also allow you an opportunity to learn about the music. Aiming to preserve this tradition, despite the barriers for in-person experiences due to the pandemic, I shared a virtual-program-note series through a Facebook event page for the recital. Over a period of 10 days leading up to the recital, I posted videos, recordings, self created pdfs, and blurbs about pieces or sections of my recital, as well as information about the composer or piece that would aide the listener in what to listen for during the recital. This series reached over 4,500 people. 

The process of researching these pieces and creating streamlined posts for the audience was not only informative for me as an academic, but also as a performer. In fact, my interpretation and performing improved through the whole process, particularly with the first movement of the Beethoven sonata. Additionally, I received positive feedback from audience members who looked forward to the upcoming posts, and from those that found the information helpful during the recital stream. Below I've included the Facebook posts themselves, as well as a link to video selections from the recital. 

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To view parts of the recital

Rameau Les Cyclopes
Rameau Les Cyclopes

Click the link to access the video on this work.

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Beethoven Op 78
Beethoven Op 78

I think if there was any composer that would be considered the “face” of classical music, it would probably be Beethoven. We all know that famous photo of him looking ~angry~ (reference included via wiki) and you know, he was a bit of an angry man. He was filled with a lot of turmoil, which spills over into his compositions. This sonata, op. 78 in F sharp, was written in 1809, right around Beethoven’s pastoral period. Click the link to read more

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