WEST SPRINGS — Local music students displayed vocal and instrumental talents as they performed a recital for the glory of God.
“Music for the Glory of God” — a recital by the voice students of Leigha Pace and the piano students of Suzy Smith — was held June 8 at West Springs Baptist Church. Pianists included Ryan West, Jolene West, Thomas Smith, Kaylee Woody, Evan Haney and their teacher, Suzy Smith; and vocalists were Mary Ashton Garrett, Macy Petty, Madison Phipps and their teacher, Leigha Pace.
Smith and Pace have begun a partnership in which both teach from Smith’s home. Smith regularly holds piano recitals at USC Union, but she said she wanted to hold a separate recital to showcase Pace’s voice students along with some of her piano students.
Smith said one of her students — Ryan West — has taken up composing, and he is beginning to get recognition for it. At the recital, West played three pieces — “Parasomnia,” “A Walk in the Clouds,” and “Angelic Dream” — which he composed himself. West has taught himself to play eight instruments, including piano. After a couple years of playing self-taught, he began taking formal lessons from Smith during middle school. West will major in music at Charleston Southern University for the next school year.
Smith said West plays by ear, and he is working to get his compositions notated and copyrighted, as several people are already interested in purchasing the sheet music. West also played “A Walk in the Clouds” at this year’s Union County High School graduation ceremony.
During the recital, West, Smith and Evan Haney — another student of Smith’s who currently majors in piano at Presbyterian College — performed West’s “Angelic Dream” as a trio. Smith said the piece was very complicated and unique, as it is atonal with changing meters and experimenting sounds.
“Some parts are flowing and romantic, and other parts are dissonant,” Smith said, explaining that the three pianists finished the piece by falling onto the piano keys with their arms crossed.
West composed the piece in May.
The students’ next recital will be in the fall.