Voice students wow at Freshman and Sophomore Honors Recital

UConn student Tyler Panek performs during the Freshman and Sophomore Voice Honors Recital at the J. Louis von der Mehden Recital Hall in Storrs, Connecticut on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016. (Jackson Mitchell/The Daily Campus)

The University of Connecticut’s voice students wowed the audience at the Freshman and Sophomore Honors Recital in the J. Louis von der Mehden Recital Hall Saturday afternoon.

Each student, accompanied by a piano, sang two selections, with particularly notable performances by Tyler Panek, Cayla Puglisi and Teryn Kuzma. 

Panek’s first song was “Music of the Night” by Andrew Lloyd Webber from “The Phantom of the Opera.” Panek’s voice was deep and emotional as he urged the audience to “turn your face away / from the garish light of day / turn your thoughts away / from cold, unfeeling light, / and listen to the music of the night.”

Panek hit every high note with ease and received the most enthusiastic applause of the afternoon upon finishing the song.

Panek also brought the same passion and intensity to his second selection, “Der Lindenbaum” by Franz Schubert.

Following Panek’s performance, Cayla Puglisi took the audience’s breath away with her rendition of “L’Heure Exquise” by Reynaldo Hahn. Puglisi’s powerful voice and air of hope and longing overwhelmed the crowd in von der Mehden.

Puglisi’s rendition of “Meeres Stille” by Schubert similarly mesmerized the audience with her rich and resonant voice.

Teryn Kuzma closed the concert with her performances of “Music, When Soft Voices Die” by Roger Quilter and “Reverie” by Hahn. 

Kuzma’s voice was enchanting and delicate, and she hit each high note of “Music” with ease. “Music, when soft voices die, / vibrates in the memory— / odors, when sweet violets sicken, / live within the sense they quicken” she sang with impressive vibrato. 

Kuzma’s expressive execution of “Reverie” was the perfect end to the concert. Her voice rang clearly and assuredly throughout the recital hall, captivating everyone inside it. 

Emily Lattanzi, Scotty Duval, and Troy Frey also gave notable performances at the concert.

Lattanzi took the stage with attitude, singing “Oliver Cromwell” by Benjamin Britten with pomp and speed. The song burst forth in rapid waves, which Lattanzi somehow managed to look easy. 

Her second selection, “Leis’ rudern hier” by Robert Schumann, was much slower and more elegant. Instead of the sass and finger-pointing she brought to her previous song, Lattanzi sang with bittersweet longing.

Duval sang “Amor preparami” by Alessandro Scarlatti with spirited confidence, while his second performance of “To an Isle in the Water” by Lee Hoiby was much more emotive and gentle. 

Frey vibrated with eager energy as he sang his first song, the fast-paced and jumpy “Halt!” by Schubert. This contrasted drastically with his second selection, “Caro mio ben” by Giuseppe Giordani, a much more solemn, melancholy piece. 

All of UConn’s freshman and sophomore honors voice students gave remarkably stirring performances Saturday afternoon that exceeded the von der Mehden audience's expectations.


Helen Stec is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at helen.stec@uconn.edu.