BC’s Merritt Holloway performs at CSUB

Merritt Holloway as he prepares to play another piece at the Senior Recital of Merritt Holloway at CSUB.

Alexandra Apatiga, Reporter

The Music and Theater Department at California State University, Bakersfield held a senior recital on Nov. 18, with CSUB student Merritt Holloway performing the piano for the audience.

Holloway, a CSUB student pursuing a Bachelor’s in Music Education and Bakersfield College alumnis, performed classical pieces from famous composers such as Franz Liszt, Johann Sebastian Bach, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Sergei Prokofiev. Following Holloway’s main performance, he finished the recital with “Destination Moon” by Marvin Fisher and Roy Alfred, featuring fellow CSUB students like vocalist Candace Freeman, Bob Townley on bass, and Pat Frase on drums.

The recital, explained Holloway, was a requirement for the Bachelor of Arts in Music degree and was needed in order to fulfill his degree requirements.

“I started at CSUB back in 2008, but had to take a step back and attend BC to fulfill my lower division courses before I could continue at CSUB” said Holloway, “It wasn’t until about six years ago that I came back to CSUB and really began working towards my degree in music education.”

According to Holloway, his performance at his senior recital was one of the last things he needed in order to graduate CSUB.

Playing the piano since he was 3 years old, Holloway saw music as a way of self-discipline and self-improvement.

“Not anyone can pursue a degree in music and expect it to be easy, it takes time, hard work, and a lot of dedication in order to master your desired path” said Holloway.

“You just can’t cram music; it doesn’t work like that” explained Holloway. “And you have to be persistent, if you miss a day of practice, you’ll know, if you miss two days, your teacher will know, but if you miss three days, everyone will know.”

Among those in the audience of the Merritt Holloway Senior Recital was Soo-Yeon Park, the Co-Director of the CSUB Chamber of Music and the piano instructor at CSUB.

For Park, the purpose of the music program at CSUB is to help students improve their skills technically and develop new skills throughout the learning process.

Holloway, according to Park, has been her student since 2009 and has watched him improve tremendously.

“He’s made huge progress since I first began teaching him” said Park. “To be able to watch your students grow and come to a point where they are performing in front of an audience, It’s very exciting to watch.”