Sam Houston State University’s School of Music had their first recital of the semester on Monday in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center Recital Hall. It featured senior Music in Performance major Stephanie Tan playing classical piano selections.
Tan played songs composed by Domenico Scarlatti, Franz Schubert, Jean Sibelius and Ludwig van Beethoven. Tan’s favorite songs were “String Quartet No. 1 in F Major, Op. 18,” “Allegro Con Brio,” and “Adagio Affettuoso ed Appassionato,” all of which were written by Beethoven— her favorite composer.
“I just like how he composes the music,” Tan said. “I remember when I was young, my mom and I would always pass by the piano studio in China, and I just loved it.”
Drawn to the piano from a young age, she knew she wanted to learn to play since she was five years old. Tan must perform every semester as a requirement of her major, and this was her final recital at SHSU.
She was pleased with her last performance, as she believes she has improved over the years.
“Today, actually, I feel like I did way better than my junior recitals,” Tan said.
After college, Tan plans to continue pursuing piano. She is going to obtain her master’s degree and Ph.D. in Music Accompaniment.
“I want to teach at a university and share music with everyone,” Tan said.
Her music professor and mentor Ilonka Rus said she can feel Tan’s passion for music and watching her do her final performance at SHSU was bittersweet.
“She has grown tremendously. It’s hard for me to let her go, but I know she will continue to make progress and succeed,” Rus said. “Every time a student graduates, it’s almost like a family member going away. I know she will do very well in life. She has now mastered her foundations, and she’ll continue to blossom in her career.”
The piano has 12,000 parts, 10,000 of which are moving while playing. All the small pieces work cohesively to produce the desired sound.
Tan practiced at least two hours every day to perfect her performance pieces.
“The process is really hard,” Tan said. “You have to have a strong mind and feelings toward the music.”