The Human of Hofstra - March 13
Mallets strike the wooden keys of the marimba faster than my eyes can follow, and then there is silence. Connor Martin has just finished the final piece of his senior recital and the crowd stands and gives a genuine cheer. He bows a few times. His music career at Hofstra has almost reached its end.
“Music consumes my life, I’m not going to lie.”
Martin is a senior music performance major and member of the a cappella group, “The Hofbeats” on campus. He’s been a part of the group for two and a half years and has been their music director for almost two years. “We’ve grown so much since I’ve been in the group. Last year we did the ICCAs [International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella] for the first time and this year we were champs.”
This group placed first at the fifth quarterfinal of the Mid-Atlantic region last weekend at Monmouth University and will be competing in the semifinals at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia on March 31.
Along with practicing with his a cappella group, Martin has been busy practicing for his senior recital, a requirement for music performance majors. “In the fall I had a lot of obligations and some minor health problems, so this semester I was practicing every night until one or two in the morning.” His senior recital fell on the same weekend as the ICCAs, which caused Martin some stress when he first heard the news, but he eased into it, “I came out of that weekend with one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever been through – one of the craziest too.”
Martin performed eight pieces for his senior recital: six on marimba, one on percussion and one on timpani. On one piece, he was accompanied by his girlfriend, Courtney Cox, a soprano vocal performance junior. “She and music are my two greatest loves,” he remarked at this end of his recital. His good friend, who is also a percussionist, accompanied him on a marimba duet, and another friend, a pianist, added a final duet to the afternoon show.
“Other than music, I’m always keeping in touch with my family.”[EB1] Martin’s family was in the audience, and even some relatives from Colorado were there. His mom and dad have come to every performance he has had at Hofstra. Making the journey from Pennsylvania to New York multiple times a year is nothing new to them. They usually come baring gifts of WaWa chocolate milk and a WaWa chicken parmesan sandwich.
Martin has written a musical with a friend and has applied to some music festivals in Texas for the summer but plans to take a year off to practice before going to graduate school. He wants to be the best he can be before moving on to the next level of music. “You have some family members asking ‘Oh you’re going into music? What are you going to do with that?’ but I have more and more people telling me they believe in me as a musician.”
Martin also hopes to bartend in the New York area to support himself before going back to school.
He is also going to see where his life takes him. He may have a plan, but that will not stop him from jumping on any opportunity presented to him. “I just love filling my time with stuff to do, so that’s what drives me. Music is a great thing and I want to be good at it.”
[EB1]I’m going to see if we can get a new quote here – this doesn’t really fit.