Collaboration helps senior recital become a reality

Written by Alison Parkins on Wed, 12/16/2020 - 06:31 |
Senior recital

Taking the stage in a mask and performing in front of a sparse audience was likely not how senior Brittany Lasko pictured her last flute recital at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. However, the music education and music non-teaching major, originally from Tomah, Wisconsin, said she is grateful that through dedication and collaboration of faculty and staff, her senior recital still went on amid the pandemic.

Lasko and her flute instructor, Terri Ellis, spent much of the semester uncertain if a live recital would be possible and prepared for the likelihood of substituting with a recording. By the end of October, they received confirmation that the live recital could take place, and on Nov.14, Lasko took the stage with a set of safety protocols in place.  Distancing herself from her accompanists, Lasko also used a wind guard – named the “Win-D-fender” – which is a device, usually reserved only for outdoor playing, that affixes to the flute’s head joint.

“Playing with the wind guard makes it a little more challenging,” said Lasko. “Especially in the higher range, it makes it harder for the notes to speak. But otherwise the performance itself went fine.”

The performance was held in the Brodbeck Concert Hall in the Center for the Arts, and an audience of up to 15 people was approved to attend.

“We were thinking that we were not going to be able to have anyone attend and only have it recorded, so to be able to have at least a small audience was really nice,” said Lasko.

It took collaborative efforts to be able to safely present the recital, and both Lasko and Ellis praised all those involved.

“I appreciate the willingness of other faculty members to give time and talents to support our music students,” said Ellis. “Allen Cordingley was the videographer, and Dr. Kaju Lee was the accompanist on the very difficult, complete 'Sonata for Flute' by Paul Hindemith. In addition to Allen and Kaju, Matthew Gregg was involved in the process of the recital jury that happened in the weeks before the recital. Congratulations to student accompanists Elyse Harvancik and Megan Behrens who assisted on a beautiful flute duet and assisted in the recital jury and performance. I am so proud of Brittany for her performance this fall.”

Lasko is preparing to student teach next semester and will graduate in the spring. She said her last senior recital is one she won’t forget.

“I think it will be amazing to look back at it and think that we even made this possible and had a semi-normal recital during a pandemic,” said Lasko. “I know a lot of people who just had to record small videos of their pieces and post them on YouTube, so I’m just really grateful that we were able to do this.”