Beth DuRoy, one of the adjunct professors for the Covenant College Music Department, performed an enriching vocal recital on Thursday, February 15, in the chapel, enjoyed by students and faculty of the Music Department along with members of the Covenant, Lookout Mountain, and Chattanooga communities. DuRoy teaches private voice lessons at Covenant, along with classes such as German/French Diction, Opera Scenes, Vocal Literature, and more. She is also the Director of Children’s and Youth Music at Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church. The recital was live-streamed and can be found on YouTube under the title, “Beth DuRoy Faculty Recital,” in case you were not able to see it live.
On the fifteenth, DuRoy performed alongside her son Jack and her husband Jason. Jack, a sixth grade male soprano, not only sang with his mom, but he also sang a few solo pieces. Jason, an adjunct faculty member at Lee University who regularly performs, accompanies, and teaches private lessons, accompanied his family on the organ and the piano. He also performed solo as well.
DuRoy has performed as the lead female role in many operas such as Le Nozze di Figaro and The Bartered Bride. She has given vocal recitals at other venues such as University of Tennessee Chattanooga, Bryan College, and the Hunter Museum of Art. She also performs with the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera and the Opera Tennessee's quartet.
DuRoy’s recital at Covenant began with a selection of Latin pieces by W. A. Mozart, J.S. Bach, and Antonio Vivaldi, featuring her and Jack accompanied by Jason on the organ. One of my favorite pieces from the beginning of the recital was “Quia Respexit Humilitatem,” from Bach’s Magnificat in D Major, featuring Jack and Yoonjin Jung (‘19) on the oboe. The oboe added a rich, warm sound to the number which I deeply enjoyed. DuRoy ended the first part of the recital with two romantic French chansons by Gabriel Fauré.
Following a short intermission, DuRoy performed a few lively German Lieder written by Hugo Wolf and R. Strauss. Jason then performed a beautiful piece on the piano followed by Jack’s performance of two moving English art songs arranged by Aaron Copland. My favorite song of the night was DuRoy’s closing number, a fun, theatrical song titled, “I Love a Piano” by Irving Berlin which included a jazzy piano solo in the middle. DuRoy’s dramatic, engaging portrayal of this piece along with her lively interaction with her husband at the piano made for a great close that drew the audience in and wowed them.
One of DuRoy’s vocal students, Sammie Brown (‘18), attended the recital and loved it “partly because of how it showcased [DuRoy’s] talented family [and] showed a breadth of historical song genre.” She said her favorite part of DuRoy’s performance was “her dramatic energy that contributes to her incredible performance. Obviously she has incredible technique but it is also just so moving with how much of her heart was clearly in the music.”
Sammie will be performing her own vocal recital on March 13. She said DuRoy’s performance excited her for her own recital because “it reminded me that technique and preparation can only go so far. Ultimately what makes a performance moving is how much conviction and heart and musicianship you pour into the music.”
In addition to Sammie Brown, Nabil Ince (‘18) will give a piano recital this upcoming Tuesday, February 27, at 7:00pm in the chapel. Other students such as Chapman Whitted (‘18), Xaris Emmet (‘18), Ben Jobson (‘18), and Amanda Nielson (‘18) will be performing recitals in mid April. Other music events coming up include Didge Evolution’s performance on March 20 as a part of the John Hamm Performing Arts Series, which features Rob Thomas and Tanya Gerard who play the didgeridoo, an Australian wind instrument. For more information on the Arts Series events and to reserve free tickets, you can go to the Music Department’s page on the Covenant College website.