Coon Recital to be held on April 25

student smiling at the camera in front of a brick wall
Monday, April 15, 2024

She’s been Serena the Sorority Girl in Legally Blonde: the musical, Katherine in Newsies, Martha in Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, and, most recently, Cinderella in Into the Woods. In addition to her roles onstage, Sterling College senior Keeley Coon has been active in choir, Highland Singers, band, learned the sax for Jazz Band and also been a Resident Assistant in her dorm. She will present her Senior Music Recital next Thursday, April 25, at 6 p.m. at the Sterling United Methodist Church.

From Eureka, Kan., Coon has clearly taken advantage of every opportunity afforded her at Sterling College. She is a triple music major in Music Performance, Music Education, and Music Theatre. She said, “I am most thankful for the people I have met during my time here and how they have been able to help me grow in my faith and as a person. I have been able to meet so many amazing and loving people who have become lifelong friends, and I am very thankful for all that Sterling has brought me.” 

Music has been her passion. She said, “When I came to Sterling College in fall 2020, I was an alto who didn’t really understand how to read music and struggled with severe performance anxiety. Throughout my time here, with the help of many patient and caring professors, I have been able to learn so much about myself and the arts. Now, I am a soprano who is confident in her sight singing abilities and have learned to overcome my performance anxiety.”

For her recital, Coon, and her voice teacher/music director Marisa Callan, who is also her accompanist, have planned a program that blends both classical and musical theatre. Her recital will include: “Neue Liebe” by Felix Mendelssohn, “The Black Swan” by Gian Carlo Menotti, “Take Me To The World” from Evening Primrose by Sondheim, and many more.

Coon’s favorite piece is “Edelweiss” from The Sound of Music. She said, ““Edelweiss’ has always held a special place in my heart. Growing up, I didn’t get to see a lot of musical theatre, but my grandma always made sure to show me all her favorites on video. We would always watch The Sound of Music together. While we would sing all of the songs together, our favorite was always ‘Edelweiss.’ Whenever I sing this piece, it always feels like she is there right with me, singing along.”

Coon said the most challenging piece in her recital is “Oh! Had I Jubal’s Lyre” by George Fredric Handel. “Throughout the piece there are many, fast paced melisma’s (a group of notes sung on one syllable) that has taken a lot of time to learn and perfect. It is not a style of music that I sing regularly, but it has been good to expand outside of my musical comfort zone,” she said. 

Coon plans to perform a duet with sophomore Mary Little, Hutchinson. The two will sing “I Will Never Lave You,” from the musical Sideshow.

Coon has proven herself to be a natural teacher/director at Sterling College. In addition to directing a few songs with the college concert choir, she has returned the last two summers to her hometown to produce and direct a summer musical theatre program for the young people in the small town of Eureka. “I think the arts are so important for kids. I had people provide me opportunities, I want to do the same for others,” she said. 

After another summer show in Eureka and student teaching in the Wichita area, Coon hopes to teach music and theatre somewhere in the Wichita or surrounding area. 

Coon’s recital on Thursday, April 25 will be offered free of charge and is open to the public.

Sterling College is a Christ-centered, four-year college located in Sterling, Kansas, with a mission to develop creative and thoughtful leaders who understand a maturing Christian faith. For more information, visit