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SOAR Profile - Sevde Guzel

Name: Sevde Guzel 
Major/minor: Music, English 
Expected date of graduation: Spring 2014 
Hometown: Bethlehem, Pa. 
Activities: Community Orchestra, Improv Ensemble, Delta Omicron, the honors music fraternity 
Project title: Editing the Orchestral Score of Amy Beach’s Mass in E-flat Major 
Project advisor: Paula Zerkle

During her 2013 SOAR project, Sevde Guzel didn’t just study music, she got to know Amy Beach, the first woman composer to achieve wide recognition in America.

With Paula Zerkle as her advisor, Sevde edited Beach’s Mass in E-Flat Major. The mass was already transcribed into Finale by Zerkle and previous SOAR students, so Sevde’s work focused on transcribing the Graduale. According to Sevde, there are still many discrepancies in the score, for which Zerkle made editor’s notes. She also began to look at individual parts, making sure they printed out correctly, making adjustments for spacing, dynamics, etc.

The process allowed Sevde to gain a “better understanding in orchestration and choral writing,” she says. “I better understand the amount of attention that must be given to a score before publication. I learned more about Beach’s style and how it related to the late Romantic style.”

Additionally, Sevde also got to know Beach, on more than just a musical level. “I was able to appreciate Amy Beach both as a person and as a composer more after working on this project,” she says.

A member of Delta Omicron, the honors music fraternity, Sevde is still determining what career path she wants to take, though ideally she would like to have a private studio one day.