BY ZACH WITT
This past weekend was an important one for Hastings College students Karli Cabrera and Andrew Koubek. On Sunday, at 3 p.m., they performed their junior recitals in Fuhr Hall. Cabrera first performed vocally, followed by Koubek, who performed on the saxophone. Each recital was a half hour long.
The musicians have a long past with their trades. Koubek said, “I’ve been playing the saxophone since fifth grade, and it’s been my primary instrument ever since.” Cabrera shared a similar story; “I’ve been singing since I was nine months old, and I’ve just focused on that for all my life.”
The junior and senior recital programs are key components of the music program for Hastings College, which is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. Dr. Debra Rhodes, a professor of Music and woodwind specialist at the college, said what sets the Hastings College music program apart:
“Well, we are an accredited school of music, so we have certain standards we have to meet. A lot of schools don’t. And also, I just think the personal attention that we give to the students at Hastings College is really a big part of what we do, and they grow as musicians from the very beginning of the program all the way to the end, and we’re there every step of the way.”
Cabrera’s recital contained a wide variety of pieces, from Wolfgang Mozart’s “Laudamus Te”, to a number titled “Sixteen Bars” from the modern musical “Taxi Cabaret.” Similarly, Koubek’s recital contained pieces as early as G.F. Handel’s second sonata, from the 18th century. The recital also contained pieces as late as Bernhard Heiden’s “Sonata for E flat Saxophone and Piano” from the 20th century. Both Koubek and Cabrera were accompanied by Katherine Welk on piano.
When asked their reasons for attending Hastings College over every other school, the performers had clear answers. “There’s a phenomenal saxophone professor down the hallway from here named Dr. Rhodes,” said Koubek, “and she was fundamental in me choosing this school.”
Hastings College also seemed to be a clear choice for Cabrera, who said, “My mom went here a while ago, and they were a really great music department, and that’s kind of what I was looking for in schools. I just love the faculty, and the campus is amazing.”
Cabrera and Koubek have been practicing for this event since the beginning of this summer. The half-hour junior recital is just one step in the Hastings College music program. The next step is the senior capstone recital, which will measure in at a full hour for each performer. The performers seemed relieved with the event finished, but ready for their future challenges as well.
The two musicians expressed thanks to their families. “I’d like to thank my mom and dad for putting me here,” Koubek said, while Cabrera said “I’d like to thank my mom for all the support over the years, and helping me get to this point.” Both junior and senior recitals will continue for the remainder of the semester, and can be found on the school’s calendar of events.