Senior vocal majors bring music to Monday Monologues


Monday Monologues featured performances for students’ senior recitals in vocal music March 9.

Quinn Vandenberg

Several Iowa State seniors performed a short vocal concert to listeners from 12:15-12:45 p.m. Monday in the Grant Wood Foyer of Parks Library.

The event was part of Parks Library’s “Monday Monologue” series. This weekly lunchtime event showcases readings and performances curated by Iowa State faculty.

Chad Sonka, assistant teaching professor of music, attended the event representing Iowa State’s vocal department and introduced Monday’s three performers and their piano accompanist, Jodi Goble.

Sonka said seniors are required to perform a recital in order to graduate. These recitals have to feature a variety of songs featuring different languages, styles and lengths.

The Monday Monologue performance allowed the three seniors to present several songs from each of their recitals and provide insight into the vocal performance department.

“I think there might be some discordance about what we do,” Sonka said. “We train our voices to serve this wonderful tradition of music, ranging from German […] to contemporary art song in English.”

The performers also conveyed animated facial expressions and movements that coincided with the contents of their selected songs.

Samantha Schmitz, senior in vocal music education, performed first with a series of three art songs by German composer Johannes Brahms.

Schmitz’s three selections showcased different atmospheres of vocal performance.

The first song was about lying in the meadow under a blue sky, the second about the lover of a blacksmith watching him from afar and the final song encapsulated a scene of two lovers, Schmitz said.

Following Schmitz’s performance, Linda Tong, senior in music and event management, performed two English selections, “No One Else” from the musical “Natasha Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” and “What Baking Can Do” from the musical “Waitress.”

“No One Else” is a song from the perspective of a woman after becoming scorned by her lover’s family, and the musical “Waitress” tells the story of a skilled pie baker who uses her craft to deal with her frustrations and problems, Tong said.

The final vocalist, Zachary Dean Smith, senior in music, performed three songs arranged by Jodi Goble, opera and vocal coach accompanist at Iowa State.

Smith’s selections, titled “My Dream,” “The People Upstairs” and “Winter Complaint” are songs derived from the poems of Ogden Nash and had a comedic tone.

“Winter Complaint” addressed the grievances of an individual working to remain sanitary during sickness. Nearby accompanist Goble accented the song’s contents by coughing behind the piano.

“I would just like to dedicate this song to the coronavirus,” Smith said prior to his performance.

The next Monday Monologue is April 6 and will feature a performance by the student group No Re-Choir-Ment.