Every semester the Southern University Music Department holds a senior recital for graduating seniors for music education. The music education program is a five-year-long program. To graduate from music education, specific requirements need to be fulfilled. Those requirements are passing Praxis I, II and PLT, which are certification tests, before taking the 400 courses, obtaining student teaching experience and having a senior recital.
A senior recital consists of a graduating student showing what he or she has learned during his or her four years in a variety of musical styles. On April 2, there was a senior recital for Paris Daniels, held in the Hayden Hall Theater. In this particular performance, faculty, students and family members were given a stellar performance by Daniels.
Many know Daniels due to her recently published book, “You’re in Big Treble.” She has been singing for 15 years, playing the clarinet for 12 years and playing the piano for four years. In regards of creating her book, Daniels says “I am able to share knowledge that God has gifted me...it is a wonderful feeling to be able to pour that knowledge into the minds of others.”
Now in any senior recital, there is a specific order in which the performer shows off his or her talents. This recital, however, consisted of two parts, separated by an intermission. In Daniels’ production, she had help from Professor Richard Hobson, Mr. Laurence Hebert, an accompanist, Ryan Alexander, a baritone, and the Southern University Lacumba Spinners.
There was an opening prayer from Minister Bernell Daniels and various musical selections from Daniels. For instance, there was the performances of songs like “Nel Cor Piu Non Mi Sento,” “I Know The Lord Laid His Hands on Me,” “Du Bist Wie Eine Blume,” and other classical songs. As stated by Daniels, “I included props, and flag spinning routes by the Lacumba Spinners to give the audience a delightful experience rather than just listening to my voice.” In the end, having these elements worked in her favor.
There are specific qualifications that a student must obtain to have their senior recital. First, a degree in music is required, whether as a major or minor. From there, every student is assigned a teacher who will help them throughout their enrollment at Southern.
These teachers will also help with any various repertoire pieces for instruments. Once a student becomes a senior, work will begin with the assigned teacher to start planning the date, time and location for a senior recital. Completing these requirements are essential to being able to graduate.
For many, having a senior recital is one of the best experiences to have over the course of four years in college. When asked, Daniels advises future students in the music department to “Practice your craft and always strive to get better.” She added that, “My walk with God, future music goals and watching peers who have graduated already that are doing tremendous things have pushed me to this point!”
Daniels is encouraging all students to continue on their journey and never to let anything hold you back. When finishing up in the interview, Daniels had a final thing to say to all Southern University students and faculty. She says that “I view life as a storybook, God has already written the story I am merely just the character going from page to page each day! This chapter is almost complete, and I am ready to see what’s awaiting me in the next chapter after graduation.”