As the last notes of the singer’s voice carried through the auditorium, Aria Cramer took her bow and the crowd burst into applause.
Cramer is a senior music education major, and this was her farewell concert; four years of work distilled into an hour of song.
“She’s a wonderful actress, along with [the singing,]” said Sarah Fiedler, a freshman music education major who saw Cramer perform. “She’s so good at doing subtle gestures … to kind of cue in the audience to what’s going on.”
Gioachino Rossini’s “La pastorella delle Alpi” required her to yodel. Cramer’s performance included songs in French and German, and even the English lyrics were sometimes so stylized as to be difficult to understand. It did not matter; Cramer conveyed the meaning with her tone, her arm movements, and the slump and shift of her shoulders.
Her ringing soprano was accompanied only by pianist Molly Sloter, a Peoria native who serves as Bradley’s usual accompanist. Together, they produced a wide variety of songs, from Handel’s operatic “Oh, Had I Jubal’s Lyre,” to Gian Carlo Menotti’s humorous “Hello! O Margaret It’s You.”
After years of singing, she said one tends to get good at foreign language diction. Cramer can pronounce German, Spanish, Latin, and Italian. According to Cramer, her worst language is French, and her learning process is still lengthy.
“For songs in foreign languages, I first look up as close to a word-for-word translation and write it into my music,” she said. “Then, for words I am unfamiliar with, I will do an IPA , or international phonetic alphabet, translation.”
Music education majors are required to give these concerts, but Cramer said she loves performing.
“When I was four,” she says, “I would stand on a dirt hill in my backyard and sing for the neighbor as she had her morning coffee. As I got older, I just kept singing.”
Her family is composed of musicians, although she is the lone singer among instrument players.
“I was the odd ball out,” she said. “Even though they… teased me a lot, they have always been a huge support system.”
After school, Cramer said she intends to keep working in music as a teacher, as well as pursue her Masters in music. She hopes to teach Catholic students about the liturgy and the history of Catholic music.