Quintessential Kenyon: Student Life, Uncut

My Senior Recital

Noah Weinman
April 23, 2016

Back in February 2012, when I was auditioning on trumpet for the music scholarship, I remember the department telling me that all scholarship recipients would have to give a senior recital.

“I hope that’s okay,” they said.

It was more than okay. I was excited. It made the prospect of going to Kenyon so much more thrilling knowing that I would get to have a capstone performance to my time on the Hill. It felt surreal when it finally came around this year.

Some fellow musicians in Kenyon’s jazz ensemble (Harrison Montgomery ’16, Sam Graf ’16, Tim Gruber ’17 and Jeremy Stern ’19) volunteered to help me out, and we began rehearsing for the recital at the beginning of this semester — just once a week to start and building up to two or three times a week closer to the recital date. We wanted to nail down the eight tunes for the show but not burn ourselves out on them too quickly. Our set list comprised two original jazz compositions of mine mixed with songs from some classic jazz composers such as Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk and Chick Corea.

I also prepared for the recital by taking private lessons with Professor Ted Buehrer ’91 and James Reed over the past four years. The private lessons offered at Kenyon were a huge draw for me as a prospective student and remain one of my favorite aspects of college life. Those lessons have been essential in keeping myself balanced among all my classes and activities. Without them, I’m not sure how I would have handled everything. Each week they gave me something tangible to work toward, and I have really felt the improvement over the years.

We opted to perform in Rosse Hall over Brandi Recital Hall primarily because we thought drums would be too overpowering for the recital hall, but also because we couldn’t resist the opportunity to play on the beautiful Steinway in Rosse.

Flanked by some of the best musicians on campus, we burned through our set with ease at the recital. It was truly a blast getting to perform with those guys, and I hope we get another chance to play together soon.