Family, friends, faculty and students gathered to hear senior Michael Harting perform various musical pieces from around the world. This was his senior recital, which is a showcase of everything that music students have learned in their studies.
Harting estimated that there were about 140 people present at the recital. “It was really cool [for] me to see so many people there. I was quite surprised,” said Harting.
The theme for this recital was “Musical Road Trip,” and it contained music from three different countries and featured seven composers.
“It was good to hear all the different styles of music. The wide variety made it interesting,” said freshman Grace Stromer, who along with the Bethany String Band, accompanied Harting for one of his pieces.
Harting began teaching himself violin when he was eight years old. When he was a freshman in high school, he realized how much he loved music, and that he could not go without it.
Putting together a program of this size was no small feat. Harting estimated that over 200 hours were spent practicing and another 40 hours making the program, including the composer profiles.
The second piece Harting played was “Concerto in D minor for Two Violins,” by Antonio Vivaldi. Senior Benjamin Schultz played the second violin part and junior Marta Krause accompanied them on the piano.
“Ben and I met each other at music camp before our freshman year [at Bethany]. We have been friends ever since, and it was really special to play with him,” said Harting. “Vivaldi was definitely my favorite violin piece.”
Another favorite piece was “Autolycus’ Song,” composed by James Greenhill. Harting chose to act out parts of this song to the enjoyment of the audience, some of whom burst out laughing at his portrayal of a pedlar selling his wares.
“I was thrilled to see him put his personality into ‘Autolycus’ Song,’” said senior Catharine Webber, who has her own recital coming up in May. “It worked out very well and everyone loved it.”
As for what will come next for him after graduation, Harting is unsure. He noted that there are a very few number of musicians who “make it big” and have their music published.
“I would like to be a choir director at a church, or even a worship coordinator,” said Harting. “I’ve thought about going to the seminary to study music in worship, which would put me on a list of people for congregations to call, but I’m not too keen on going back to school for another four years. It would be nice to work at my own pace writing music for awhile.”
For now, Harting is glad to be done with his recital. People found his performance enjoyable in different ways.
“It was really nice to get away from everything for a little bit and listen to some good music,” said sophomore Mark Gullixon.
“I loved his violin; it was so beautiful,” said junior Cassie Wierschke. “I would definitely go see it again if I could.”