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Jeff Gentry talks with Casey Hennigan of ENMU’s Department of Music about her upcoming Carnegie Hall Preview Recital

GENTRY: And now Great Art at Eastern from the Portales Campus of Eastern New Mexico University. I’m Jeff Gentry, Dean of the College of Fine Arts here on KENW, your Public Radio Network. Today my guest is Casey Hennigan a vocal performance senior at ENMU. Thank you for joining me today.

HENNIGAN: Thank you for having me.

GENTRY: Well, Casey, you are a senior soprano in ENMUs Chamber Singers and Swanee Singers. What is special about these choirs?

HENNIGAN: I think that these choirs enable the students at Eastern to have a chance to be apart of musicianship, whether or not their music major. I think that it also- at least Chamber in particular allows us to discover music that might not necessarily be popular currently, but it still contains so much musicality and so much beauty and- both of these choirs- just really allow students to kind of discover what they like and what they don’t like in terms of genre or- or musicality itself.

GENTRY: Great. Now you’ve studied alongside fellow Sopranos Julia Glunt and Taylor Bassing for four years. You were all born in Y2K, and so are you the Three, um and you’re the three Sopranos in the Swanee Singers. Right. So, are you three rivals or Three Musketeers?

HENNIGAN: Definitely not say rivals. I would definitely say pretty much Three Musketeers for sure. I very much so enjoy working with Taylor and Julia. All three of us have such different voices, but they work beautifully and I think Doctor Paulk really allows us to discover more about ourselves and our techniques, and he always chooses repertoire that allows each of us to shine in our own way.

GENTRY: Wonderful, and later this afternoon, just at 2:00 o’clock today, you will perform a preview recital for your big performance at Carnegie Hall with the Chamber Singers. Will we hear a Hannigan solo?

HENNIGAN: Yes, you will. I will be in a trio with a Qatari and Chandler who were also in chamber singers. It’s a small trio in a piece about. It’s from a set called Considering Matthew Shepard. It’s a very touching story. And the piece itself is incredibly beautiful and touching, and I think it gives wonderful insight too Matthew Shepard. Not only that, but. Individuals and how we process topics like grief and acceptance.

GENTRY: Yes, Matthew Shepard. Being the young man in Wyoming who died tragically quite a few years ago when I was about your age and the group will also perform I will lift my eyes.

HENNIGAN: Yes,

GENTRY: That’s by Jake Runestad.

HENNIGAN: Yes, that is a beautiful piece and I think that these two pieces are really. They mesh well together in the sense that they- they kind of cover topics not only about grief but about our religious influence and how we take that upon ourselves every day and choose how to act with other people and ourselves.

GENTRY: Not only did you recently perform the with the Swanee Singers and Jazz concert, you performed the role of Meg March in the musical Little Women along you know also starring your fellow Sopranos that we’ve talked about. So, tell me about the experience of the musical play.

HENNIGAN: It was such a wonderful experience. It was great fun. I always enjoy working with my peers, but especially on a musical like this, that kind of hit to more in the home. It is historical of course, it has those elements to it, but. At the end of the day, it is four young sisters who are developing a connection with each other and learning about themselves, which is really just a theme overall this semester.

GENTRY: Great. Thank you, Casey Hannigan, for joining me on Great Arts at Eastern, directed by Jason Polk. The Chamber Singers perform at 2:00 PM today in Buchanan Hall at ENMU. You can also watch live on the ENMU Department of Music YouTube page. Their concert is on March 28th at Carnegie Hall in New York, NY. All the Great Arts at Eastern are found at enmu.edu/FineArtsEvents. Thanks for listening on KENW, your Public. Radio Network.

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  • Join ENMU College of Fine Arts Dean Jeff Gentry each week on "Great Arts at Eastern," as he interviews artists, actors, entertainers and musicians about their craft and events they produce at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales. "Great Arts at Eastern" airs once a week about 12:35 p.m. MT on Thursdays on KENW–FM.This program also is available online by clicking the title of an individual episode listed below.
  • Host of Great Arts at Eastern