The world-renowned Krannert Center for the Performing Arts offers many performances in a year and provides a vigorous and artistic environment for students in the School of Music. It had always been a dream of mine to perform on stage there. At the beginning of October, I finally entered Foellinger Great Hall, and it was such a great pleasure that my first time there was to be on stage as a performer alongside the University of Illinois Wind Orchestra. I was pleased to see lots of people in the audience. Even though the audience wore masks, I was certain that they enjoyed the music with happy faces.
We had our last rehearsal in Krannert. When the band made the first sound, I noticed immediately that the sound within the Great Hall was very different from our typical classroom. Normally we have our rehearsals in Harding Band Building (HBB), where sound is relatively drier, but the sound in Foellinger Hall in Krannert Center has more reverberation and lingers the music in the hall. Don’t get me wrong. I am not complaining about the rehearsal room in HBB. The drier sound is good for listening carefully to more details in the music, which is beneficial when rehearsals. After everything in the music has been checked carefully through rehearsals, a concert hall with good acoustics will be great for everyone to enjoy the music. And because of the difference in sound projection and sonority, I found that the conductors not only appreciated the beautiful music, but also frequently checked the balance of the sounds from the auditorium, and tried to make sure that every section mixed best together.
Besides the excitement when performing, during break periods, I had a great time exploring the backstage and level 2 of the center as I was a curious adventurer. There are many spacious rooms for ensemble rehearsals and also a costume room with various styles of clothes hanging in the hallway. The interesting thing is that every hallway looks identical, making it easy to get lost there. In addition, I noticed that there are walls with names and autographs of many musicians and visiting artists who have given performances there before. Regardless of the fields they have dedicated themselves to, they are role models for us all, and I hope I can be as outstanding as them in the future.
It was exhilarating to be back on stage and make live music again in a concert hall, especially during this difficult time when lots of live performances had been limited due to the pandemic. I loved the program very much and I was very happy that the performance was live-streamed so that my parents and friends far away abroad or in other states could have a chance to enjoy the music virtually. The composer of one of the program pieces even watched us perform and encouraged everyone through Facebook live. All those things made my first-ever concert in Krannert Center very meaningful and memorable. I really look forward to the next concert in November.
Chin-Hsuan Sharon Cheng (written in October, 2021)
能在著名的Krannert 表演藝術中心表演一直以來都是我的夢想，終於在10月初的這場表演，我如願第一次進到Foellinger Great Hall裡面，也很榮幸第一次就可以以表演者的身分在這麼漂亮優質的音樂廳演出。當天有很多觀眾參與這場音樂盛宴，雖然大家都戴著口罩，但我相信他們一定都是面帶笑容享受音樂。
上台前一次上課，我們到Krannert 的舞台上彩排，當樂團吹奏第一個音，我立即感受到音響的不同。一般時候都在Harding Band Building上課排練，那邊的音響效果比較乾，沒有太多回響，但Krannert音樂廳的聲音很共鳴且有非常漂亮的殘響。別誤會我喔！我絕對沒有抱怨平時上課的教室，較乾的聲音反而可以幫助聽到更多的音樂細節，有助於排練時找到問題進而改進。而在音樂細節都處理妥當到味後，音樂廳豐富的音響效果能讓為音樂增色，變得更加動聽。正因為聲響方面的不同，我發現總彩排時指揮老師們也不斷地往返台上台下確認音響上和各個樂器聲部的平衡。
Chin-Hsuan Sharon Cheng(2021年10月)