WGRN Staff Reporter, Ivy Lyons
GREENVILLE, IL— Saturday, November 3rd brought to campus a variety of opportunities for students. After months of work, song selection, and years of lessons, Klaire DeVos hosted a recital that was just so much warmer.
Klaire DeVos stands out, shaped by her years of vocal performance, delivering a recital that is even more uncommon at the University. An entirely classical set – which is not an easy feat – was delivered in a polished performance that yielded a standing ovation and an encore!
DeVos, a Music Education major with a voice primary at Greenville University, shaped her senior recital around the concept of Love. While this theme is common in vocal literature across the genres, she segmented her sets and created an almost theatrical feeling, with her parent’s warm words of love and prayer as the introduction to the recital. (Her mom, at one point, joyfully recalling a time in which she “sang like a 4-year-old”.) Moments later, with the echo of giggles and claps reverberating in the Whitlock Recital Hall, the first set began.
Come, My Love was the first of her sets, introducing the “welcoming words we offer as we extend ourselves to those we love.” Song after song in the first set rang through with beauty; a storybook quality of song. This set moves seamlessly into “If Thou Lovest Me”, a statement of pondering and inquisition. The intentionality of this set is not missed, as DeVos puts an emphasis on this word “if”, pulling the listener through “Batti Batti”, “I Won’t Say I’m In Love”, and “Se tum’ami, so sospiri.”
Following a brief intermission, Klaire returned with two more sets: Dreams of Love, which “progresses through sleep and dreams – from describing the scenarios making sleep impossible, finally lying down for a night of sleep, [and] waking up from a dream which is now lost forever.” This set, with songs from My Fair Lady, Hansel and Gretel (an exceptional duet performed with Tenor Austin Simmons), and Fauré’s “Après un rêve” cast a certain spell on the audience, lifting through dreams into a final aspect of love: God’s Love
The final set brought several features, including GU Alumna Mandy Pennington, a small ensemble – GU Students Eddie Allison, David Gines, Lexie Hooper, Austin Simmons, Will Sunderland, Liyah Thompson, Jasmine Webber, and Brian Wells – and a final solo performance of “Cantique de Noel”. As Klaire moved offstage, the crowd stood and applauded for just under a minute, and she returned to provide an encore performance of “When I Have Sung My Songs.”
The variety of languages and the diversity of her repertoire, technically, was astounding. She delivered songs with a brightness that is unique to her, with a tone that reminded me of bells, and with a sweetness that the entire hall was able to enjoy. Her presence was strong, confident, and firm, with every song that she delivered.