November Goshen Showcase to feature string duets

Samantha Malt and Hannah McCauley put their duet skills together in a two-hour public performance in November’s Goshen Showcase. 

 

Maddie Schurman, a member of the Campus Activities Board, said Goshen Showcase is an opportunity for students to listen to and appreciate the musical talents of other students on campus. 

 

“It’s based on tryouts,” Schurman said. “Not just any student can do it, but they can either submit a video or come to in-person tryouts.”

 

Schurman also said the potential performers are scored on a rubric that evaluates performance quality and relevance to students. 

 

“A few of our past performances have been vocalists,” Schurman said. “This year we have our first instrumentalists I’ve seen in a while.”

 

Malt and McCauley, both freshmen and string instrumentalists, said they only recently began practicing together. 

 

“I heard of [the Goshen Showcase] through some of our music professors,” McCauley said. “We just thought it’d be kind of fun to audition just to see if we can get in.”

 

Despite having only begun practicing last month, Malt and McCauley both have years of experience with their respective instruments. 

 

“I started playing in fourth grade,” McCauley said. “As part of the elementary school, everybody took strings, and I chose the viola and I’ve stuck with it ever since.”

 

Malt said she began on violin, but switched to cello when her school’s music education program allowed students to pick their own instruments. 

 

“We’re from neighboring school districts, but we’d never met each other,” Malt said. 

 

McCauley said she and Malt began practicing together in October once their audition was accepted. For both of them, this sort of ensemble was a new frontier. 

 

“I’ve played in some quartets before, but I’ve never done duets that have not been school-related,” McCauley said. 

 

When practicing and preparing for their performance, Malt and McCauley have no set drill they run through, instead letting the music take control of their practice.

 

“We don’t really have much of a routine,” Malt said. “I got most of the music from my high school orchestra teacher, because she had a bunch of books of duets. So we have practiced that by just playing through the duets and selecting which songs we liked the best out of those.”

 

Malt also said she and McCauley searched online for pieces outside the genre of classical music for some variety, adding Christmas music and a series of jigs to their repertoire. 

 

“Whenever we’re practicing, we’ll run through it, but then we’ll reverse hard sections, or parts that kind of fell apart or didn’t quite work,” McCauley said. 

 

Schurman said the Campus Activities Board is hoping to make Goshen Showcase a monthly occurrence instead of one which occurs every other month. Michelle Cartagena, who is in charge of organizing and hosting the showcase and events such as movie and karaoke nights, said there are plans in the works to enhance Goshen Showcase. 

 

“Spring semester there’s going to be a couple changes, but they’re going to be good changes,” Cartagena said. 

 

Schurman said the Campus Activities Board often keeps in touch with the performers after their two hours in the limelight, sometimes calling them back to ask if they want to perform again. 

 

“It’s almost like they have a secret,” Schurman said. “It’s so cool to know that, because they’re so special and they’re so talented.”

 

Schurman said the showcase functions both to expose students to music they may not traditionally listen to, as well as give students with musical talents a chance to show off their talents to the student body. 

 

“It’s so cool to see people’s families come out for it,” Schurman said. “We’ve had the performers’ parents come, they’ve brought flowers, their professors will come and watch them … They just light up so big when they see their supporters come.”

 

McCauley and Malt both said they are already looking forward to another opportunity to perform together again.

 

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