On Saturday, September 21st, Chad Wynn, a student here at Millersville, held his junior year vocal recital. Performing in the Biemesderfer Concert Hall in the Winter Visual and Performing Arts Center, Chad was accompanied by Chris Henkel on the piano.
Chad is a both a tenor and counter-tenor vocalist. Counter-tenors are rare in male vocal performance. To put it into perspective, this voice part is equivalent to a female alto vocalist. Chad is a vocal performance major studying under the direction of Professor Kristin Sims.
The performance began with a powerful, romantic piece in Italian from composer Francesco Tosti, called “Tormento.” The first portion of the performance continued with other selections from his tenor repertoire, from composers Gabriel Faure, Franz Schubert, and Gerald Finzi. Chad ended the first part of the recital with a strong, emotional rendition of “Bring Him Home,” from the composer of Les Misérables.
The second portion of the program featured counter-tenor selections. The selections were lyrically ideal and light, being brought to life by Chad’s vocals. The selections included “Oh God” and “Ombra Mai Fu” composed by George Handel, and “A Chloris” by Reynaldo Hahn.
To round out the program, Chad performed three songs which he composed and accompanied himself on guitar. First was “Chicago Rain,” a lyrically romantic song written for a very special someone in his life. “Save Me,” the next selection, came from a text written by Kyle George. Chad performed this as a soft-spoken prayer that gradually becomes more energized as the song progresses. The last selection, “Let Go,” was written in the wake of his family member being diagnosed with a life-threatening disease. Chad’s performance of this piece was full of emotion and inspiration.
This performance showed “a wide variety of music from my tenor and counter-tenor repertoire,” describes Chad. Including his own written songs and the aspect of the guitar was a thoughtful choice. “I am trying to show my audience a wide variation of ways to enjoy vocal music,” said Chad.
At the end of the recital, Chad gave a heartfelt shout-out to his professors, Dr. Sims and Dr. Boyle, for “helping [him] be the best musician [he] could’ve ever dreamed.”
Nearing the year mark since its opening, the Winter Visual and Performing Arts Center offers students and faculty state of the art performance spaces. For Chad, performing at the Winter Center was an amazing experience unlike any other. “I’ve been in different metal and rock bands before college, but there is a big difference from these performances,” explains Chad. “I’m used to the ‘party atmosphere.’ Tonight, everyone was here to just purely appreciate the music.”
Writing music has always been a passion for him, writing the guitar melody for “Chicago Rain” at the age of ten. His inspiration is mostly faith based. However, it’s not the only inspiration he finds. “I write music about my life. Some songs are about what I believe in. Some songs are about random stories,” Chad explains. “Some are about girls…a lot of my songs are about girls.”
A common theme in his composed songs is faith. The faith spoken of in his lyrics is both one of religion and hope. “Save Me” is religion based, acting as a prayer to God to find a solution to the problems in life. However, in “Let Go,” Chad’s lyrics describe faith as knowing things will always get better in the end.
Faith has always played a large part in Chad’s music. His love of music began through his church at home. This inspiration has influenced his long term goals. “[They] include plans to start a touring worship band,” hopes Chad. He has begun to work on other possible options, too. “Lately, I’ve been talking with different churches about being their worship and creative arts director,” he said. He hopes that all these options work out and is given the opportunity to keep creating and sharing the gift of music.