GRCC Music sophomores showcasing their talent and skill in recitals

Jonah Walters is a Grand Rapids Community College Music student and plans to continue his studies – and possibly even teach the subject someday.

Walters is among the GRCC Music students who are demonstrating their talent and skill during three Sophomore Recitals next month.

Walters and fellow pianist Madilyne Barbrick will share pieces at 7 p.m. Friday, April 1 at the Linn Maxwell Recital Hall in GRCC’s Albert P. Smith Music Center, 142 Ransom Ave. NE. It’s the first of three recitals featuring five students.

Baritone Matthew Hillen’s recital is planned for 7 p.m. on April 8. He studied with professor Scott Bosscher and will be supported by collaborative pianist Emily Grabinski Conklin.

Brandon Klein, who plays the bassoon, and Matthew Orsillo, who plays the tuba, will be performing at 7 p.m. on April 9. Grabinski Conklin also will be performing in support. Klein studied with professor Anthony Walker, and Orsillo with professor Kathleen Gomez.

All performances are open to the public, and admission is free.

Music Department Program Director Kevin Dobreff said the recitals are an opportunity for students to show what they’ve learned during their time at GRCC, and highlight the department and its faculty.

“The students and instructors work so hard to get to this point,” he said. “We’re celebrating their musical journey, and also showing our greater community the quality of our programs and our people.”

Walters, from Dorr, will continue his education at Grand Valley State University. He plans to study music education with a goal of teaching middle or high school band or choir. He studied at GRCC with Dr. Debora DeWitt.

“I’ve really enjoyed the warm learning environment that GRCC has and the friendliness that radiates from the music building, especially,” Walters said.

“The piano faculty especially are amazing people and pillars of leadership. They have made it easy to practice the piano and put in the many hours a week that practice requires.”

Barbick, from Byron Center, said music has been her passion since childhood.

“I’ve played piano for 13 years now, and my dream is to be a music educator myself one day,” she said.

Her plans after graduating from GRCC are to transfer to a four-year university to complete my bachelor’s degree in Music Education.

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