Nicholas Allion's Fabulous Performance By: Jean-Luc Clark (itc 2010-102, February 25, 2017)

March 24, 2017 will be an important date for Junior Nicholas Allion. On this date he will (literally) take on one of the most daunting challenges he will have faced so far as a musician: his junior performance recital. Armed with his selected pieces, a can do attitude and his trusty Cello, Allion hopes to make quite the impression for this symbolic moment in his music performance career.

Allion’s musical journey began when he started playing music in middle school through a rather unusual circumstance. “I was listening to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra perform one of their songs and I heard a cool cello solo that I immediately wanted to copy,” said Allion. A few years later, Allion would take the next big step towards pursuing music by attending Appalachian State University for a degree in music education and a performance certificate. Hearing word that App State is known for its well-rounded music program, Allion knew this is where he needed to be in order to step up his instruction abilities.

Upon his arrival at App State, Allion was not used to the more extraneous and consistent degree of rigorous practicing that would come with being a music. In fact, Allion stated that up until college, he did not take any lessons for cello before starting college (which is something he wishes he had done if he do it all over again). Nowadays, a typical day in Allion’s academic schedule is the following: “Two to three hours of practice a day, two hours of symphony rehearsals, and the rest of the day is studying musical concepts like music theory & aural skills.” While this schedule is tiring for Allion, it does mean that he is able to feel more prepared for any music related event on his calendar since he enjoys what he does and is prepared for whatever comes next.

For this semester, Allion’s junior recital will be comprised of three differing music acts. First, Allion will perform the first movement from the Lalo cello concerto. Following this, he will play two movements from a Hayden divertimento. Finally, he will team up with two other students to perform a Prussian dohnanyi trio. The ultimate goal of this recital is to receive a performance certificate. With this, Allion will be able to earn the credentials and status of a music performance major, while still receiving his overall music education degree. Collectively, Allion has spent the last year and a half going over these pieces in order to ensure that they will be perfect when he takes the stage for the big performance. Allion pointed out that the mentality behind getting ready for a recital is completely different than preparing for your typical concert. “With recitals you spend time perfecting the pieces that you’re gonna play. Its focussing on one thing for about a year instead of multiple skills. And when you’re preparing for any performance or recital, you make sure to play those pieces all the way through once a day or more,” said Allion.

In terms of preparedness for the recital, Allion states that he feels a combination of both anxiety and excitement for his recital. “It’s a big deal for me and I think it’ll go well, so it’ll be nice to show people what I can actually do,” said Allion. In terms of long goals after finishing his performance studies here at App State, Allion would like to spend a few years performing for other symphonies before returning the college setting for a doctorate degree in performance and working as a college professor of music.

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All photos in this project were captured by myself.

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