Senior Recital

A year ago today I performed my college senior piano recital. It was a wonderful evening, and I am so thankful for the training I received from Dr. Stanislava Varshavski. During my four years at Maranatha, she taught me piano, and I greatly enjoyed learning from her. She is an amazing teacher. During every lesson, I wrote down lots of comments and then I spent about 10-20 minutes after the lesson writing down everything I could remember that I was supposed to work on for the week. I still have the lesson notes from all four years of lessons.

The recital was at 7:00 PM on Friday the 13th of March. It was shortly after my friend Levi Messer’s senior piano recital, and when I went to the back room before the recital, he had written a neat note of encouragement. Thank you, Levi. I still have that note in my files.

I am so grateful for everyone who had a part in making the recital go well. So many people pitched in, and did a fantastic job of setting up, ushering, cleaning up etc. I felt so spoiled and did not have to worry about anything because they handled them so well.

My brother James was the head usher, and the other two ushers were Dan Depue and Caleb Wagner. I wore a green shirt with a white tie, and the ushers wore white shirts with green ties. Brady Grismore, my duet partner, also matched the color theme.


The ushers were great, and I am sure they helped with many areas that I am not aware of. James made sure nothing was forgotten and ran the PowerPoint, Caleb helped with passing out flyers, and Dan was in the back room with me. He did a great job of encouraging me and fanning me between songs.

At the end of the recital, I surprised my two piano teachers, my mom and Dr. Stanislava Varshavski, with flowers. I am very thankful for both of these ladies who taught me so much about piano, and without them, I would not know the joy of playing the piano. My mother taught me piano from my first lesson in third grade all the way to college and after college.

Surprise for Teachers

With the reception, there were root beer floats. Having root beer floats only on Mondays was a tradition I started my second semester of college and carried through to my last semester. Due to the special occasion and with the piano recital being the Monday of the rest of my life, I had floats on a Friday. Mrs. Tammy Henderson made a fabulous cake with real music on the frosting plus a Bible with highlighting the verse that means a lot to me – Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

The Cake

The receptionists were Kim Richerson, Kayla Richerson, Lizzie Conrad, and Courtney Grismore. They did a great job. So thankful for them helping to make the night go smoothly.

Reception Helpers

As with any major accomplishment in life, there is much preparation. In preparing for the recital, there were several times that I recorded the audio and/or video of my pieces and then listened/watched the recording to know what to improve. And although memorizing duets was not required for senior recitals, I chose to play all of my music be memory. Memorizing music can happen at the piano as well as away from the piano. Some Saturdays, I spent six hours practicing, and during the first week of January before the recital, I was gone to Arizona. Therefore, not wanting to lose valuable practice time, I worked on memorizing music out in the warm sun which would have been way too cold in WI. Thankfully, my Uncle David and Aunt Judy’s church had a piano which I used for a couple hours of practice Sunday afternoon.

Memorizing Music

I feel badly for some students who do not want to have big recitals or do not make a big deal of them, but I was excited for my recital. People were invited in a variety of ways: mailed and hand-delivered 4×6 inch invitations, hand-delivered business card invitations, email, word-of-mouth, and Facebook event invitation. It was very encouraging to see a lot of people turn out to the recital. The crowd helped make the night very special.

With one of the sacred pieces, I received permission from to arrange the hymn composed by Heather Schopf. It was such a joy writing the arrangement and then getting to play it at the recital.

I am thankful for FuZion Videos which did the taping, live streaming, and editing of the recital. Check out the recital at I am also thankful for Milky Way Photography which took the professional pictures. Some of the pictures on this blog are not from Milky Way but are from a camera of one of the attenders.