Bodoh’s senior recital was instrumental event

Her last Mac music performance was bittersweet, but future Bobcat felt her final show had to go on ... even if it was virtual

Daniela Bodoh

After playing selections written by Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt and Debussy, Bodoh performed an an encore,

Courtesy of Bodoh

After playing selections written by Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt and Debussy, Bodoh performed an an encore, "El Coqui,” a Puerto Rican danza, with her mother, accompanying her on the guitar. “['El Coqui'] was special to me because I'm half Puerto Rican, so it was a cool way to honor my Puerto Rican heritage,” Bodoh said.

Ellen Fox, co-editor in chief

Considering her advancements to state in UIL and her acceptance into the Collaborative Piano program at McCallum and more recently as a Violin Performance major in the Texas State University School of Music, there is ample evidence that Class of 2020 graduate Daniela Bodoh is talented.

I had been working on [my recital] since the beginning of the school year, and I was so looking forward to it. It felt too important to skip.”

— Class of 2020 graduate Daniela Bodoh

But her talent is not the only thing that sets her apart.

When her final recital was cancelled due to COVID-19, when the requirement to do the recital was waived and when her three graduation ceremonies came and went, she still decided that she needed to go through with her senior piano recital, not because it was a graduation requirement or to satisfy her teacher, but rather for herself.

“I had been working on it since the beginning of the school year, and I was so looking forward to it,” Bodoh said. “It felt too important to skip.”

Bodoh ended up having her recital via Zoom on Aug. 8, a couple of months after she was supposed to play at the end of her senior year. Originally, the idea was to postpone until the virus slowed down and she could find an open venue. Bodoh wanted it to feel like a real recital, complete with applause and a post-performance reception. But after weeks without any safe openings in sight, she realized that an in-person recital was not an option.

“There was a time when having it on Zoom or another online source was kind of a last resort,” Bodoh said, “but it just ended up not making sense to have a recital in person.”

After accepting that reality, Bodoh started working on an idea of what a Zoom recital would look like. Instead of seeing her family and friends in the flesh, she would see them on the screen. The applause duties would fall onto her immediate family, who would watch from the living room. She began making plans with her family for the call. After all the arrangements were made they set the date for Aug. 8.

The morning of the recital, Bodoh felt confident about the music; it was the in-betweens, the talking parts that made her the most nervous.

Daniela Bodoh said the hardest part of her recital came during the in-between moments when she had to stop playing and speak to her virtual audience. “I don’t really get nervous when I perform for an audience,” Bodoh said. “Public speaking, I’m not as familiar with that as I am with performing music.” (Photo courtesy of Bodoh)

“I don’t really get nervous when I perform for an audience,” Bodoh said. “Public speaking, I’m not as familiar with that as I am with performing music.”

As it turned out, an issue did end up arising during one of her speeches due to technical difficulties.

“At the beginning of the recital, I was saying my intro speech, and I started hearing myself echoing,” Bodoh said.

Her father, who was conducting the behind-the-scenes aspect, had accidentally unmuted himself making it so that Bodoh heard everything twice.

“It was so hard to not show that I was really distracted,” Bodoh said. “But it feels really good to know that I went through with it. I was reading off a script that I’d written, and it was important to make it feel natural. Knowing that I did manage that definitely helped.”

Once past that hiccup, the rest of the recital went smoothly. After a selection of Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, and Debussy, Bodoh was encouraged to play an encore. She and her mother, who accompanied her on the guitar, performed “El Coqui,” a Puerto Rican danza.

“[‘El Coqui’] was special to me because I’m half Puerto Rican, so it was a cool way to honor my Puerto Rican heritage,” Bodoh said.

It’s a little bit bittersweet, but I think knowing that I’m gonna continue on with piano is comforting. … It’s really the start of a new chapter, not the end.”

— Daniela Bodoh

With the end of her encore came the end of her recital, her senior year and her entire high school piano career.

“It’s a little bit bittersweet, but I think knowing that I’m gonna continue on with piano is comforting,” Bodoh said. “And hopefully, even though piano won’t be my main focus, hopefully I’ll still have more piano performances in the future. That makes it feel less sad. It’s really the start of a new chapter, not the end.

Even though there was no idea of how it would look and it would take more work, Bodoh pressed on because of her commitment to her music. That’s what sets her apart, and what she will bring to her future in music.

“I’m very proud of how the recital turned out, and I’m just very proud that I did it. I think that this is an example of not giving up,” Bodoh said. “And I just, I just feel so proud.”