Hayley knocks Senior Voice Recital out of the Park


On Saturday, April 9, senior Hayley Park performed her Senior Voice Recital for a full house at the French Parlor in Founders Hall. The soprano sang works by Bach, Mozart, Hue, and Barber, in languages including German, French, Italian, Spanish, and English. Her 13 song performance finished with an encore of the same song she sang at her audition for USD’s Choral Scholars: “Sure on this Shining Night” by Samuel Barber.

“An encore is a special moment because it occurs when the audience is cheering for you and they want to see you sing one last song,” Park said. “This encore was extremely meaningful to me as it serves as the progress I’ve made at USD. My voice is more developed now and it feels completely different to sing it as I have more voice and resonance. It made me emotional because it shows the work and dedication I’ve put into studying voice these past four years.”

Park was grateful for the turnout as she reflected on Saturday evening’s recital.

“For this performance I was a little nervous but was actually able to really relax because I focused on the intention of what I was singing about and the emotions of the songs,” Park said. “Connecting with the audience is important because I use my voice as a vessel to bridge that connection of the music to the audience. I enjoy being able to move them or even have them realize something differently or feel really strongly about something.”

Sophomore and fellow Choral Scholar Maddison Nelson was in attendance at Park’s opera performance.

“I love watching Hayley perform funny songs because she has this tiny, knowing smile that she adopts while singing them,” Nelson said. “Watching her junior recital last year was the reason I decided to follow the music path myself. My favorite part was when she sang a song dedicated to her cat, since I see a lot of pictures of him. During that song her personality and her relationship to her cat was immediately communicated to everyone. It was definitely her song.”

Park’s singing career first began in the fourth grade through her church and youth theatre. She was a part of the choir Madrigals all throughout high school and eighth grade and participated in her senior solo “The Habanera” from the opera Carmen with her school’s orchestra that sparked her passion to pursue classical singing opera in college.

“Singing opera helps me be my best self,” Park said. “Studying this music and learning about the composer and the history behind it kind of transforms you as a singer. It really helps you become your best self by going through the process of finding the intentions of the music.”

This is Park’s fourth and final year singing as a soprano for USD’s Choral Scholars and she is graduating with a major in music with an emphasis in vocal performance as well as a minor in Italian. In the fall, she will be attending graduate school at Arizona State University for music therapy.

“My interest sparked last year during my music therapy class at USD and also when I sang at a benefit concert with the Choral Scholars,” Park said. “The nonprofit organization, Resounding Joy, provides

Photo Courtesy of Hayley Park

Photo Courtesy of Hayley Park

low-cost music therapy to people in which I saw potential for using music to help others, especially those with different disabilities.”

Nelson also comments on the atmosphere and audience from the voice recital.

“Everyone who came to see her were close family and friends, so we were all very happy for her, yet sad at the same time,” Nelson said. “During her songs various emotions rippled through the room, showing how skilled she is in controlling not only her vocal, but also her emotional range.”

Park is on the path to making a difference in others’ lives through the thing she is most passionate about in life — music. Although she is excited for her next adventure at ASU, she still dreams of becoming a professional singer in opera or choir one day, and Saturday’s performance was just another step closer to that dream.