Southeast Missouri State University students will perform in the annual Class Voice III Recital at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2 in the Robert F. and Gertrude L. Shuck Music Recital Hall at Southeast’s River Campus. Admission is free.
Judith Farris, artist in residence and vocal director in The Conservatory of Theatre and Dance, announced this year’s 11th recital marks the class’ final performance.
“It’s really a good-bye performance, but we’re going to have some fun with some special things this last time,” said Farris, who will be retiring at the end of the 2016-2017 academic year.
This year’s recital will have vocal performances from 12 students, and will feature music that audiences are sure to recognize and enjoy, said Farris.
The recital will include music from well-known pieces of Broadway musicals, including ”West Side Story,” “Rent,” “Miss Saigon,” “The Secret Garden,” “Evita” and “Jersey Boys.” Classics pieces by Cole Porter and Rogers and Hammerstein will also be featured as well as contemporary favorites including “The Girl in 14G.”
Started in 2005, the free recital is a way to give back to the community and for audiences to enjoy music from theatre students in a more intimate format, said Farris.
“I love to watch the faces in the audience and see their reactions to the music they know and love from our talented student artists,” she said.
The up close and personal experience is also important for students to gain confidence in themselves and their abilities. The recital is an opportunity to display the skills they have learned in a course on advanced vocal technique and principles for performing.
“It’s just them and their voice,” said Farris. “They work very hard.”
Farris is a renowned contralto artist and voice instructor who became a full-time faculty member at Southeast in August 2005 as an artist in residence and instructor. She teaches both theatre and musical theatre courses; collaborates with dance, music and theatre faculty on musical theatre productions and recitals; and has performed with the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra.
She also teaches master classes for University students and regional high schools; coaches both music theatre majors and non-singers for theatrical singing roles; and helps students land internships. She also has taught many of New York’s finest singers.
A Cape Girardeau native, Farris is a 1971 graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, where she majored in voice and earned a bachelor’s degree in music education.