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Samantha Ragain performs senior recital

By Aimee Bilger
On November 27, 2012


Samantha Ragain, Senior Music Ed. Major, presented her final performance at Trinity Presbyterian Church. Her family and friends were in awe, as she entered wearing a long, flowing and blue chiffon gown.

Samantha was at ease and excited about her performance last night, but the French horn has not always been her easiest task.

 "I remember the first day of band when I was in the sixth grade. We were all choosing instruments. I could not make a sound come out of the French horn," Ragain said. "It was a challenge for me. I challenged myself; now I've been playing it for 11 years."

After each completed piece, Ragain would smile towards her father, with a sense of gratefulness.

"I'm happy that my dad was here for my performance. Having my family here really meant a lot to me," Ragain said.

"I haven't seen her perform in a long time, but tonight was very special. 'Hunter's Moon'was my favorite piece," said her father, Russell Ragain.

Ragain was confident with each piece she played, and each note gained power from every breath she took. She was accomplishing her task of sharing the music with everyone.

"It was a joy to work with Samantha. I have seen her grow as a musician and an artist. It was displayed here tonight," said Music Department Accompanist Delana Easley.

Ragain usually works on a piece for two years to perfect it. She arranged the musical piece "Spookily" in 6 months. This piece was originally arranged for one horn, but she arranged it into a duo for the French horn and trombone. She chose Sophomore Music Education major and friend Crissy Miller to play this piece with her.

Ragain ended the recital with a tribute to her horn teacher, the late Calvin Smith of UT Knoxville. In his memory, she played "Hunter's Moon" by Gilbert Vinter. This was the last piece that Ragain and Smith had worked on together before his death.

"Samantha did a great job. She was a little bit of a wallflower at first, but she has come out of her shell. This was a big step for her as a performer," said Assistant Professor of French Horn and Music History Dr. Jessie Thoman.

Ragain wants to be a freelance film score performer one day, but for now she still enjoys brisk runs with her dog and being a member of UTM's professional music fraternity for women, Sigma Alpha Iota.

At the end of her performance, her sisters of Sigma Alpha Iota formed a circle and sang their chorale to her. This was a very touching moment for Ragain.

"Cherish the times you have here at UT with your friends. These are memories that you will have for the rest of your life," Ragain said.

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