Helms is majoring in English and creative writing with a minor in music. Among the songs she has selected for the recital are “Ah, Love, but a Day” and “The Year’s at the Spring” by H.H.A. Beach, based on the poems by Robert Browning.
“Amy Beach is one of my favorite American composers, and these are two of my favorite pieces of hers,” Helms said. “I think the audience will like ‘The Year’s at the Spring’ in particular, because its accompaniment is exhilarating and uplifting.”
John Jacob Niles’ “Black is the Color of my True Love’s Hair” is on the program because it’s one of the first art songs she learned when she arrived at Sweet Briar. “I really wanted to pick music that I have practiced across the years to help display the progress I’ve made,” Helms said.
A love for the “fluid nature of the Italian language” influenced her choices of works by Alessandro Stradella and Giacomo Puccini. “Col mio sangue comprerei” from “Il Floridoro” and “Tu che di gel sei cinta” from “Turandot” are also both emotionally complex, sad arias, which Helms feels a connection with, she said.
Puccini’s “ ‘Tu che di gel’ is the most emotionally demanding piece, and it is also the most difficult,” Helms said. “I really hope that I can move the audience with it, as it is the final piece.”
The program includes works representing a range of periods and nationalities. Helms will be accompanied on piano by Anna Billias.
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