Only the rustling of programs could be heard as Jared Moore, a graduate clarinet student, walked onto the stage of the School of Music Recital Hall. As he raised his clarinet to his lips, his story began to spill out.
Moore delivered his degree recital that is required for graduation on April 1. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in music education from Mississippi State University, Moore moved to Columbia to focus on clarinet performance.
Moore performed three pieces, selected last semester, for his recital: a Bach sonata arranged for clarinet, a contemporary piece titled "Gryphon" and a standard clarinet sonata by Brahms. Moore worked on them with the school's clarinet professor, Joseph Eller, and an accompanying pianist through this semester.
“It’s a lot of work,” Moore said. “That was a big adjustment when I started this, was being able to discipline myself to practice.”
Growing up as a shy kid, Moore said getting into music performance gave him a different way to express himself. He did not have to rely on speeches or conversations. His music was his way of communicating with his audience.
Like final exams in other majors, music students perform pieces for their grades. Every music student performs in front of a jury made up of the School of Music faculty every semester. However, only upper-level students perform extra recitals for assessments that are open to the public.
Both of Moore's sonatas cycled between vibrant, fast-paced and softer phrases that showcased the clarinet’s versatility. The "Gryphon" solo included more contemporary techniques that amplified the music’s expressiveness.
Most of the small audience present were the other clarinet students. Other members included Moore’s family and the School of Music faculty grading Moore's performance.
“(The pieces) were all just so great in different ways,” Sarah McMillian graduate clarinet student said. “The 'Gryphon' solo was really great because there was just a lot of text painting.”
Other undergraduate clarinet students said they appreciated the skills and techniques Moore used.
“I just love that 'Gryphon' solo. It speaks to me so much,” Ella Baldwin, a fourth-year clarinet student said.
Unlike other majors at USC, music students take few classes outside the School of Music. The students performing will work with the same professor for their entire degree. Moore said he worked with Eller to hone his performance skills during the progression of his master's degree.
“That is very unique in the college setting because most students in other degrees may see a professor once, or maybe twice, and that’s it,” Eller said. “I think that the relationship that’s built between music majors and their professors is also very unique.”
With his degree finished, Moore said he wants to pursue teaching alongside performance.
“Ultimately, I would really like to teach in more of a college setting, kind of like what Mr. Eller does,” Moore said. “And performing along with that.”
Recitals by the School of Music students are still going on this semester. Find out more on the School of Music’s calendar.