Senior Spotlight: Brandon Smith

What is your year and major? I am a senior K-12 Instrumental Music Education major.


What pieces will you be playing?

I'll be performing pieces written for percussion by women composers:

“Hegira” by Carrie Magin

“Napoleon Complex” by Jessica Rudman

“Play” by Belinda Reynolds

“Kazak Lullaby” by Keiko Abe

“Open Me or Readdress Me” by Whitney George

I chose to focus on women composers because a gender gap still exists between the amount of male and female composers, especially when it comes to percussion music.


What is your favorite piece of music to play (in general or from your recital repertoire)?

I love playing the whole repertoire of my recital, but one of my favorite pieces to play has been “Restless” by Rich O'Meara. It's for solo marimba and sounds very melancholy. It's a piece that I can really get into emotionally and shape according to my mood.


What would you like people to know about your recital?

I want everyone to know that it'll be a really engaging recital because I'll be combining information from my UROP into the pieces I'll be playing. For my UROP, I wanted to explore more about why this is, and suggest solutions through K-12 music instruction. I'm excited to present my findings in a unique way that showcases contemporary percussion music. I'll be talking about all the pieces and give the audience a deeper look into the pieces performed.



What is one piece of advice you have for incoming music education students?

I would advise scheduling your practice times! If it's on your schedule to practice, there is less of a chance you'll procrastinate! I wish I would have known this a long time ago.



Senior Spotlight: Samantha Lindbeck

Bulldog Baseball Goes 7-5 Over Spring Break