On Thursday, March 21, in the Lambert Recital Hall, senior Alex McCullough performed his senior recital to fulfill part of his Bachelor of Music in Music Education Degree with Teaching Licensure. The performance was much more than a requirement for McCullough, and more than a school-sponsored event for the audience members who came to support him.
“It’s been a pleasure working with him in Res Life for three years, and now it’s great to see all the work he’s been doing culminating on stage,” said senior Psychology major and a fellow RA in Beeson/Carnegie with McCullough, Cassidy Mahan.
McCullough performed 10 songs, all of which tested his vocal range and celebrated his natural talent and the skills he’s acquired through his time at Maryville College. McCullough did not originally plan on attending Maryville College, but he is thankful he made the decision and for the opportunities it has presented him.
“Maryville’s Music department, specifically Music Education, is very special. It is a lot different than other schools,” said McCullough. “So, I toured 12 other colleges and universities because I didn’t want to come to Maryville…because of my brother, [MC Graduate Jordan McCullough]. Because we are so close, we wanted to spread our wings. I did my thirteenth tour here and fell in love and never left.” McCullough recognizes the unique experience those in the Music Department at Maryville get in comparison to larger universities.
“The Music Department here is so different honestly because of the size of the school,” said McCullough. “Most schools that only have right around 1200 students can compete with us when it comes to the teacher-student ratio, but Maryville has the same facilities that a school that has 10,000 students has when it comes to Music Education and music.”
McCullough made a point to push himself and his abilities to make the event worthwhile for himself and the audience. He even had a specific piece that challenged him in the best ways.
“I sang a piece by Franz Schubert called “Der Erlkönig” which translates to the Elf King and it’s a poem written in Germany and it’s rather famous over there,” said McCullough.
“In the piece, you have to be four different characters, so you have to start as the narrator which is very cut and dry, more of a bass tone which is not really my thing, the father which is a similar tone but more loving and worried… then you have to be the son which is terrified… and then you have to be the Elf King which is a creepy little thing… so that was my favorite piece out of all of them.”
McCullough took German at Maryville College as his foreign language in order to perform this piece which is normally performed at the graduate level. McCullough’s hard work did not go unnoticed. The audience members were clearly delighted by his senior show.
“I thought it was quite wonderful,” said sophomore Theatre major, Riley Hamant.
“Alex’s voice is just so beautiful, and I love hearing him sing, and I teared up at ‘Lonely House,’” said junior Music Education with Teaching Licensure major, Lyndsey Lively. “I’ll go on record to say his voice is like butter. I just want to pour it on everything.”
McCullough’s presence on campus is undeniable. His passion for this school and for music shined through during his performance setting an outstanding example for others in the program.