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Senior recital gives Grant an opportunity to showcase talent

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Tiffany Grant performing at her senior recital
Tiffany Grant performing at her senior recital

Hoag Recital Hall was bustling with spectators as Tiffany Grant performed her senior voice recital at Colorado State University-Pueblo on Saturday, Oct, 10.

Grant performed 12 songs that spanned seven different languages including a core of French, German and Italian, with subsequent songs in Russian, Czech, English and Portuguese.

Among the songs were Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Batti batti;” “Zdes’ Khorosho” by Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff; “Chi il Bel Sogno di Doretta” by Giacomo Puccini’ “Mein schöner Stern” by Robert Schumann and the pair of “Ain’t It a Pretty Night” and “The Trees on the Mountain” by Carlisle Floyd.

The songs were primarily chosen from Grant’s existing repertoire, with “Zdes’ Khorosho” being her favorite performance piece.

“I thought it was an absolutely beautiful piece,” Grant said.

Overall, the performance felt like a success and went beyond her passion for music, Grant said.

“I think that it was very much a part of my spiritual life”, Grant said. “It was something that was really a blessing to me and a blessing to the people involved, and hopefully a blessing to God.”

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Grant, born in Salida, Colo., moved to Pueblo while in seventh grade and later graduated from Pueblo East High School.

Now a 23-year-old music major at CSU-Pueblo, she recalls her earliest fascination with singing while driving.

“When I was little, riding in the car with my grandparents, I would just sing to the country music songs on the radio,” Grant said. “I think that’s when I decided that’s what I wanted to do.”

While she said she believes her youngest exposure to music was age 11, Grant said her mother learned about her daughter’s singing ability from a Spice Girl’s CD that Grant would frequently sing to.

Twelve years later, Grant’s focus is graduating with a performance degree and then moving onto the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia.

A four-year program, the Academy of Vocal Arts is based on intense competitive audition. If accepted, the student receives their education with all tuition paid, Grant said.

Other possibilities include the Juilliard School or Manhattan School of Music, both located in New York City, and Indiana University.

One thing has remained constant throughout her years with music, Grant said: practice. Typically starting with one or several vocal warm-ups, Grant said she moves onto the harder parts of particular pieces that she’s working on at the time.

After that, she continues working through the song while adjusting her mood and singing to fit the tone of the song and what it portrays, she said.

“The last part of it (the practice) is pretty much getting the emotion into it and really trying to figure out who the character is and the perspective that I’m getting from the poetry or the piece itself,” Grant said.

Grant said she believes much of her success can also be attributed to the music department at CSU-Pueblo.

“Tamra Axworthy has helped me with some crazy things … and my voice teacher (Barbara Beck) has been absolutely stellar,” Grant said. “The faculty here has been instrumental in my getting a musician’s backbone.”

Not only has the department allowed her to function as a performer and musician but it also kept her on her toes, Grant said.

“This department is alive and when people walk in here, there’s always something going on,” Grant said. “If you ever get bored, come to the music building, there’s definitely stuff to be learned here.”