By Jayleen Rolon
The lights dim in the auditorium. A woman steps out on stage, sparkling under the lights in a shimmering light blue gown as she takes her place next to the grand piano. The crowd greets her with an uproar of cheers and applause before going silent to let her begin singing.
Megan Sholette’s voice echoed off the concert hall walls as she sang the opening notes of “Don Giovanni,” composed by Mozart: the beginning of her last recital as an undergraduate student.
Senior music education majors performed their final undergraduate recital for the College community in the Mildred and Ernest E. Mayo Concert Hall at 3:30 p.m. on April 16.
The recital featured Sholette on voice and Jayden Fusco on saxophone. The soloists were accompanied by pianists Stefanie Watson and Kathy Shanklin, as well as the TCNJ Chorale and Kosmos Quartet.
“I felt like it was finally my moment to shine,” said Sholette, a soprano vocalist who performed solo and conducted the 18 College Chorale members. “I felt nervous at first, but then I turned my nerves into excitement.”
The recital was structured in 16 sections, with each section featuring between one and four songs for a total of 90 minutes.
“I thought the performer's dress was captivating,” said junior English education major Gabriella Thomas. “It reminded me a lot of Cinderella and added a beautiful elegance to her presence.”
All of the performers were formally dressed in spring colors as they took the stage to perform songs inspired by the transition to spring, many of which contained themes of growth and prosperity.
The set list took the audience on a journey through music from 1756 to 1956. Selections ranged from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Ma Se Colpa Io No Ho Batti Batti O Bel Masetto” to Frederick Loewe’s “I Could’ve Danced All Night.” The show closed with “Pequena Czarda” by Pedro Iturralde.
“Getting to hear them now versus as their piano tutor when they were freshmen is both nostalgic and a pleasant surprise,” said College alumnus Noah Possible, who graduated in 2020.
Over 60 attendees gathered to listen to the recital, praising performers with high energy from start to finish. The audience gave the performers a standing ovation at the end of the event, the majority of them staying after to greet Sholette and Fusco with applause as they entered the lobby near the exit.
“I felt great, everything…balanced off of the audience, and they were great,” said Fusco, who played alto and soprano saxophone. “I just love everyone [who came to support me].”
The recital was a year in the making, demonstrating what Sholette and Fusco learned in their time studying music education at the College.
“Thank you for supporting me and encouraging me to move on,” said Sholette, who is ready to start her career as a music educator.