Jenna Soderling’s senior recital ended not with music but with a standing ovation. The music technology major presented a repertoire of humorous, introspective, and social commentary pieces. After she took her last bow, I heard someone down the row whisper, “That’s our Jenna.”
She played piano for her opening piece, “Confidence Following the Decision to No Longer Give a Frick.” There were no vocals, but if music alone can give no fricks, this composition accomplished it.
Soderling made sure to thank everyone who featured on or helped to produce her songs. Megan Schandel was a reoccurring presence on that list, with a hand in “Late,” “Parade”, and “Spray Paint.”
Soderling is not only a gifted musician but a talented vocalist as well. She and Destinee Smith performed “Streetlights” by Daniel Caesar beautifully. “Late,” “Tree,” “Parade,” and “Circus” showcased her breathy, emotionally laden voice.
When I noticed “All Are Welcome” on the program, I did a double take. The last rendition of that song I witnessed was back in my uniformed, Catholic school days. It turned out that the piece was done in Kurt Gohde’s Video and Design class, and featured the song as “spoken” by Donald Trump over images of refugees. It was full of irony and a distancing patriotism.
“2 Triggerz” was another video project, but that is its only similarity to “All Are Welcome.” In it, Soderling describes her two pet peeves: Bigfoot skeptics and people who accuse her of punching her best friend. She wears a durag and raps about these small traumas.
Jenna Soderling definitely went out with a bang. “Thank you all for coming,” she said. “I’m a fan of me, too.”