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Polley, Berry prepare for junior showcase


Darlene Griffin

Entertainment editor


Theater, musical theater and music   majors all have a chance to showcase their talents before graduation. What   some students do not realize is that it takes years and hours upon hours of   practice to perfect their junior and senior shows.

Kali   Berry, a piano pedagogy major, and Suzanna Polley, a piano   performance major, are two juniors awaiting their performance date, March 30.   The students met freshman year and have been in the same music studios ever   since.

“Susanna   and I are the only two juniors in Dr. Jordan-Miller’s studio this year who   have to perform a recital to meet requirements for graduation,” said Berry.   “Therefore, deciding to do our recitals together was an easy decision. But,   we’re good friends too, so that’s just an added bonus.”

Berry   says Dr. Jordan-Miller has been a huge influence in their lives.

“She’s a wonderful, helpful, encouraging teacher who is faithful to   work with us until we ‘get’ our pieces. She’s really a blessing.”

However, Polley and Berry are still completely   responsible for figuring out all the details that go into a recital and   started putting pieces together the end of sophomore year. They had to choose   the music, practice three to four hours a day, memorize the repertoire,   decide on the order in which to play and even meticulously find the   appropriate dress.

According to Berry, dress is a crucial decision.

“I know   that for us, as pianists, the main concern for our dresses is whether or not   we’ll be able to play in them. Length, arm length and whether or not we can   move well are all considered,” said Berry. “Shoes are also a big deal and are   usually practiced in for at least a couple of weeks before the recital.”

For   the performance itself, the girls feel the pressure to perform “accurately.”

Polley   said, “Everyone remembers things like mistakes and memory slips. I have to be   careful to keep my focus on making music instead of pleasing the audience or   I will become overwhelmed when trying to prepare for this.”

Berry is most excited about performing for her family and   friends—conversely, that is also what makes her the most nervous.

“Although I’m excited to   share my hard work with everyone, I’m also really nervous. But, with lots of   prayers and practicing, it should be OK.”

Polley   and Berry work extremely hard to play their music once or twice. It is a huge   project that consumes their time and dedication. However, it is also a chance   to showcase their talent to teachers, family and friends. They are both   confident in their choices and preparation and have an overall theme for the   performance.

“A   junior recital should not be a stuffy environment. My goal is for it to be a   relaxing and enjoyable experience for the audience and myself,” said Polley.   “I want to turn music into artwork.”

Everyone   is welcome to Polley and Berry’s junior show on March 30 from 3 p.m. to 5   p.m. in Brookes Chapel.