Senior Spotlight: Sophie Low, Soprano
By Alicia Method, Staff Writer
On April 1, Sophie Low performed her senior recital which highlighted women composers such as Italian writer Barbara Strozzi to Gettysburg College’s own Natalie Dolan ’23. Low is a soprano under the tutelage of Dr. Susan Hochmiller and Professor Jeffrey Fahnestock.
Among the many themes prominent in the works performed by Sophie, love, triumph over adversity and the mysteries of life were most notable.
The program kicked off with performances of Barbara Strozzi’s “Amor Dormiglione” and “Amore Loquace” and Harriet Abrams’ “Se placar volete amore,” which was sung as a duet with Sally Fetterman ’24. Both of these selections surrounded stories of people searching for love and speaking with magical creatures such as a nymph and Cupid.
Next were “Tres Poemas” by Joaquin Turina and “Es lebt’eine Vilja” by Franz Lehar from the operetta “Die Lustige Witwe.”
An especially poignant and emotional piece was sung before the intermission. Germaine Tailleferre’s Six Chansons Francaises concerns a narrator who is trapped in an abusive marriage, and this conflict reflects the composer’s own personal experiences.
In her program notes, Low wrote, “These pieces represent her traumatic experiences with marriage and men. I fell in love with this set for Tailleferre’s bravery in sharing her untraditional and even scandalous views.”
Low’s respect for these pieces shone through her emotional, raw singing.
After the intermission, the program took on a modern feel with contemporary composer Jennifer Higdon’s “Love Sweet.” This chamber piece was performed alongside Dolan, Nicholas Schwentker ’23 and Isaac Masters ’25.
Low then performed Natalie Dolan’s piece “Songs to Sara.” This piece was based on Sara Teasdale’s poems “The Crystal Gazer” and “Moonlight.”
The recital concluded with “Dhire-Dhire” and “Soir d’hiver” by Augusta Holmes.
When speaking about how she crafted her senior recital, Low noted, “I really wanted to make a program that highlighted women composers from all eras. I also wanted to highlight new music; that’s how I picked Jennifer and Natalie.”
Low also thanked the Women, Gender and Sexuality Department for their support.
“The WGS department has had a huge impact on how I go about looking at music history and composers, and I appreciate their support,” Low said.
Beginning in the fall, Low will be pursuing her master’s degree in vocal performance at the Peabody Institute.