By Hannah Newman
Megan Gorog’s got “the musical bug.” With two music teachers for parents and two sisters who studied music, it would have been hard for her to miss out. Now, in her senior year of college, she pays tribute to the years she’s spent learning and loving music through her senior violin recital.
Gorog, a senior music education major, has been playing the violin since she was seven and hasn’t put it down since. When she was in high school, she decided that she wanted to teach music like her parents, and declared her major in music education.
Her college journey has been a time of immense growth and learning. Her advisor, Prof. Carlos Elias, has worked with her for the past three and a half years to help her master her craft. When Gorog started selecting music for her senior capstone recital, she took advice from both professors and friends.
The pieces ranged from classical to baroque and romantic. Some of them were long-time favorites, and others were chosen as a nod to teachers and friends she’s made in Cedarville’s music department. Two of them were collaborations with other music students.
“Mozart I played because my teacher loves Mozart,” Megan said, referring to her advisor Prof. Carlos Elias, who recommended she play dainty “Violin Sonata No. 18 in G Major.”
“I decided to do the “Fantaisie” with Emma because she’s a really, really good friend of mine,” Megan said, referring to her friend Emma Ross, with whom she played “Fantaisie for Violin and Harp” by Camille Saint-Saens.
“We did a sophomore recital together, and I was like, it would be so cool if we could do another big thing together.” The two instruments, Megan on violin and Emma on harp perform a call-and-response between each other. The playful, mysterious piece is a nod to the complimentary sounds of both instruments and to the friendship between the two students.
Other pieces chosen for the recital included selections from “Parita No. 3 in E Major,” a series of dance pieces written by Bach. This suite ranges in tone from mournful and contemplative to lively and joyful, definitely something I felt like tapping my toes to.
“Violin Sonata Op. 45 No. 3 in C Minor” is a dramatic and sweeping piece from the romantic period written by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg. Gorog and piano pedagogy student Abigail Lilite played the emotional and dramatic sonata together onstage, switching between lively sections that blended into a middle that sounded almost like heavy breathing. Gorog likened the sonata to a “pleasant memory” that is both tranquil and passionate.
The sonata is certainly emotional, and the shifting mood was a challenge for Megan to master, but the most challenging piece by far is one she set her mind on playing before she ever came to college.
“Zigeunerweisen” is a piece by Pablo de Sarasate that has fascinated Gorog for many years. The fast-paced, impossibly fiery piece draws its sound from Hungarian folk music, and trips between impossibly high notes and low, droning harmonies that pull the audience in almost magnetically.
“When I decided I wanted to do “Zigeunerweisen,” that was way way out of my league,” Megan said. “But Prof. Elias was like, ‘We’ll see. You can try it.’ And then when I was committed to doing it, he was very, very encouraging. And even though it wasn’t performed at the top-notch level, he was still very, very proud that I actually did it.”
Megan first heard the song at a community orchestra in New Mexico and resolved that she would play it one day. Now, in her last year of college, she has performed it in front of an audience. Meeting this goal is a huge step for Gorog, and displays beautifully the growth and support she’s experienced in her years of study.
Hannah Newman is a senior broadcasting and digital media major with a focus on writing. She enjoys drinking tea, reading old books, and fighting with her friends about movies.
Image courtesy of Megan Gorog