March 1, 2024

The lights fell as the crowd took their seats and suddenly, they were all waiting in anticipation.

The door opened and out walked Maklayne Vitovich, ‘19, with a confident stride and a pleasant smile. Vitovich is one of the Wittenberg music department’s mezzo sopranos and she was about to woo the crowd with an impressive program.

She began with Antonio Vivaldi’s “Domine Deus,” planting everyone firmly in their seats with an astounding voice that filled the hall.

She moved through more pieces, like Mozart’s “Ah! Guarda Sorella,” featuring Soprano Sarah Knobeloch, ‘20, and “Il Core Vi Dono,” featuring baritone Seamus Dunphy, ‘19. These duets were well paired and enriched the ears with their balance.

Between pieces, she walked out of the room and entered with a refreshed confidence and motivation to give the audience only the best of performances. She returned to perform a selection of shorter melodies that, although written by separate composers, fell together nicely to tell a story of love, jealousy and sadness.

She also sang the more recognizable tune from Vanessa: “Must the Winter Come so Soon?” A title that seemed to be an accurate representation of the minds of most of the Midwesterners in the room.

She moved along effortlessly with “Song my Mother Taught Me,” by Charles Ives, “Lullaby,” by Menotti, and then a Brahms piece called “So Lass Uns Wandern,” featuring tenor, Sean Doyle, ‘19, which was once again an unfaltering pair of voices.

They navigated the German lyrics to give us a story detailing an insistent young gentleman and his pursuit of a fair maiden. They ended the song with smiles on their faces as Vitovich exited the room again to give us another German Brahms piece, “Geistliches Wiegenlied.”

She performed, accompanied by Miranda Zielinski, ‘21, on viola.

At the end of this piece, Vitovich exited one last time to present to us her final piece.

At last, she re-entered the room and sat on a stool, leaning lax against the grand piano, ready to tell us her story.

The song was “Stars and the Moon” from Songs for a New World by Jason Robert Brown.

As she leaned against the piano, she sang to us about the different men she had met during her life and the promises for the moon and the stars that they made to her. She then spoke the line “I think I’d rather have the yacht” sending a wave of laughter through the audience.

The piece came to an end with the singer finally marrying a man who could promise her riches and she gets her yacht, but then realizes that she will never have the moon.

As the pianist played the final notes of the piece, the audience erupted into applause. Vitovich smiled and bowed before exiting.

She was brought back by the thunderous applause and stood in front of a well-deserved standing ovation to end out her senior recital.

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