Two heaven-sent voices, some French classics, a sprinkle of sass and a dash of cat meows—mix that together, and what do you get?
The senior voice recital of Erin Carter and Jade Watts, of course!
Friends, family and admirers crowded the Lambert Recital Hall to hear the lovely duo perform—quite beautifully, if I may add.
The two performed for over an hour, Watts showcasing her strong mezzo-soprano abilities and Carter, her smooth soprano.
It’s easy to see how someone would be nervous during such a big show. Singing may be even more nerve wracking, since a calm state of mind is necessary to keep one’s voice in check. Both ladies suffered from excitement more than anything.
“I was just excited about all my family and friends getting to finally see what I have been working on for the past few years,” Carter said. “The best thing about the performance was definitely the audience. The applause was soul shaking.”
Watts got a bad case of the jitters as well, saying that she was so hyped up that the first song was actually hard to sing.
“The very first song was quite difficult to perform because I was just so excited, I couldn’t think straight,” Watts said. “After working for so long on this music—two years for some songs—it was amazing to perform them for what seemed like every person I’ve ever known.”
While all of this raw talent was put to brilliant use during the performance, it’s not as though the two just practiced for a few weeks and then gave it their best shots.
Many of the songs performed during the recital were ones that they’d been practicing for years—literally.
The ladies owe a lot to their voice trainers, Alicia Massie-Legg and George Bitzas, but much of the prep work didn’t necessarily involve singing. According to Watts, a lot of the work was done in her head.
“Most of my rehearsing was mental, not vocal,” she said. “I worked with five choirs this semester, meaning I do a lot of singing every day. Vocal exhaustion is very unhealthy and can ruin your voice.”
Most of the songs were in French or Latin, and the ladies performed them completely from memory.
“I had to be really diligent about mental practice,” Watts said. “I would do things like sing through my pieces in my head while en route to class and write out the lyrics to my songs, with translations as necessary, from memory.”
Carter often engaged in breathing practices to keep relaxed and focused while rehearsing.
“Before the actual performance, I did my usual rituals of yogic breath exercises and poses, along with a few light vocal warm ups,” she said
The most rewarding part of their performance, each say, was the amount of support they received. The two put together the entire show themselves (except for the reception, for which they credit their mothers), and many came forth to volunteer their time and energy to help.
“This was not an easy thing to put together, and it really showed us how many friends we have who are willing to help,” Watts said. “Fellow students did the pictures and posters for us, and a friend from church provided the programs.”
Friends’ simply attending the recital meant a lot to the performers, as well.
“The immediate standing ovation after our final duet together was a moment I will never forget,” Carter said. “That is what every performer hopes to achieve when performing. The whole thing felt like a dream,” Carter said.
The final song of the night was a duet that was comprised of the word “meow” repeated again and again. It made for a hilarious and light-hearted ending to a great recital.
This song seemed to embody the humor and closeness that can only form between two dear friends, which Carter and Watts certainly are.
The two have surely left an impression that’s here to last. Watts and Carter will no doubt continue both to perform and to wow audiences.