Two USD students played in a joint music recital this weekend.
Senior Marty Balmer and first-year Nicole Santos, who play violin and piano, respectively, performed in Farber Hall Saturday afternoon.
Balmer started playing violin at age five. He said he quickly realized it was his passion.
“I think I always knew it was something I would end up doing because I picked up on it really quickly,” Balmer said
At first, Balmer was unable to start lessons because his violin teacher had too many students, but he said he picked it up quickly.
“I sat in on lessons and I knew a lot of information already, so it was something I knew I would stick with,” he said.
Balmer is a violinist, pianist and a member of Chamber Singers. He hopes to attend graduate school after obtaining his undergraduate degree.
“I am typically busy practicing each day,” Balmer said. “I want to go into music history, so I want to end up teaching at a university someday.”
This shared recital was Santos’ first solo performance at USD. Though she wasn’t required to participate in a recital as a first-year, she said she enjoys performing with others.
“I love to play with other people, I really enjoy playing in the orchestra ensemble,” she said.
Santos started playing violin when she was five and started piano a year later. Around age 11, Santos realized music was her passion.
“One of my friends started playing a year before me and I attended one of her recitals and decided I wanted to play too,” Santos said. “My family moved to Omaha when I was 11, and I started studying piano seriously with a teacher at the University of Nebraska in Omaha.”
Santos said she sometimes gets nervous for her performances, but has a few tricks to help her relax.
“I don’t normally get nervous until right before I perform, I always try to remember I am doing what I love so I try to get excited about it rather than nervous,” she said.
Santos is also considering graduate school.
“The idea is to get a master’s degree in collaborative piano then get a job playing in a music ensemble,” she said.
Santos played during the first half hour of the recital, and Balmer followed.
To conclude the recital, Balmer was joined by USD violin teacher Ioana Galu.
Sarah Lane, a first-year majoring in medical biology and psychology, attended the recital to support Santos, her roommate. Lane also plays piano and has the same teacher as Santos.
“I started playing when I was six, but I didn’t practice. I took a few years off and I am just starting to get back into it,” Lane said. “I love getting to hear Nicole play; she is such a great pianist.”