Thirteen-year violinist Shannon Coffman is a music performance major at Washburn and has a minor in psychology. She has been working hard to complete her major, and her final requirement was to perform a senior recital, which she did at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in White Concert Hall.
Coffman has been preparing the repertoire for this recital since last summer and through this school year. She played four pieces on violin with the accompaniment of pianist Shane Spangler, Washburn alum.
“The first is Brahms’ first violin sonata in G major,” said Coffman. “The second piece is Bach’s violin sonata in G minor – the adagio and fugue; the third piece, by Ralph Vaughan Williams, is called ‘The Lark Ascending,’ and the last piece is the violin concerto in D Major by Tchaikovsky, just the first movement.”
They were all beautiful pieces, and anyone watching could tell that Coffman was enjoying herself while playing. She took special interest in the Tchaikovsky piece, though she loved them all.
“I chose to play the Tchaikovsky because I immediately fell in love with its beautiful melodies the first time I heard it,” said Coffman. “‘The Lark Ascending’ is another one that I find to be particularly mellow and relaxing, and the piece is absolutely gorgeous. The Brahms and Bach are in the standard repertoire and are wonderful pieces to play on any recital.”
The concert with its intermission lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes, and Coffman was relieved to have it done so that she can graduate May 17. Her hard work paid off, though Coffman said picking out her evening gown for the recital was probably her favorite memory from the experience.
After Coffman graduates this month, she plans to take a full year off to teach and work as well as to raise money to continue her education in graduate school. She looks back at her Washburn years and will always remember the music department and what it meant to her.
“The thing that I love most about the music department is how close of a family we really are,” said Coffman. Everyone knows everyone in the music department and the faculty really are like parents to all of us. It’s just great to have that much support from everyone.”
After a successful recital, Coffman can breathe deeply and continue to use her talents as she walks off campus and into the real world. She offers her gratitude to the music department but specifically to a close professor and some friends who have been with her through almost everything.
“Obviously Dr. Larisa Elisha, my violin professor, has had a huge impact on me as a musician,” said Coffman. “She really is a great professor, and cares deeply about all of her students. Also, my fellow Fetter quartet members over the years have always given me a lot of support and keep me going.”