Senior Cynthia Lester demonstrated her hard work as a flutist during her senior recital April 23.
Lester, accompanied by Accompanist Debra Huddleston on the piano, performed songs by classical composers, Haydn, Widor, Ibert, Muczynski and The Beatles.
“The Beatles are just too awesome not to include,” Lester said. “I couldn’t resist.”
The audience was receptive, responsive and large. Audience members applauded enthusiastically during the performance.
The majority of the songs she performed were fast-paced and challenging pieces.
Lester said that it was exciting to play for her friends and family.
“My mom has heard me perform, but my dad and my brother haven’t. My brother dressed up nicely for this recital, and I really appreciate that my whole family was here,” Lester said.
The last piece on the program was a medley of three songs by The Beatles that Lester arranged herself. She played the alto flute for the piece and was accompanied by three other flutists. When the performers turned and walked offstage, still playing, the audience laughed appreciatively and applauded.
The performance was met with a standing ovation, and the applause did not stop until Lester returned to the stage for a second bow.
Lester has played the flute since the sixth grade. Denise Westby, adjunct professor of music and Lester’s flute instructor, said that Lester came to Linfield as a solid player but without experience with private lessons.
“Cynthia was wonderful to work with,” Westby said in an email. “She was always prepared for her lesson, having worked on whatever the previous week’s instruction had been. She made consistent progress and grew into an intelligent, sensitive musician.”
Lester said that her musical training at Linfield has helped her with form, analysis and theory in music, which allows her to see patterns.
“My first challenge was living up to [Westby’s] expectations. She has definitely challenged me,” Lester said. “I’ve never really felt that any one moment was a triumph because when you’re a musician, you can always do better.”
Lester said that she would like to continue playing the flute in the future, but that she will also focus on playing the piano. There are a number of other instruments that she would like to learn too, she said, but she said she is more interested in her other major, mathematics, as a career.
“Not only is she a fine flutist but she is also an impressive composer and arranger. Her final senior recital was testament to how far she has come,” Westby said. “I will miss her.”
Sharon Gollery can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org