by Chrissy Zehrbach
Fine romantic music filled Founders Auditorium Friday evening as student performers delighted an intimate audience with their individual pieces.
Ten University of La Verne music students and the ULV Chamber Singers performed at the concert. Scott Farthing, professor of music and choir conductor, introduced each performer and accompanied the vocalists on the piano as they sang songs in German, French and Italian.
“Music of the Romantics” was a unique concert for ULV because it featured all music from one era, Farthing said.
“Music from the Romantic era is about passion, exuding emotion, extreme louds and softs, bearing the soul of human nature and telling a story,” he added.
“Using romantic music forces the students to act and convey their story through the music,” Farthing said.
Sophomore Sarah Morales, mezzo soprano, was the first to perform.
“I was nervous going first, especially since I’ve only been singing for a year,” Morales said.
With a strong performance that left a smile on her face, Morales set the tone for the rest of the evening.
“Romantic music gives you an opportunity to express your passion with words. But it’s so much more; you give your heart,” she said.
Senior Shane Haldeman, baritone, sang “Erlkonig,” a song typical of the Romantic era and one of the most famous German pieces, Farthing said.
It told the sad story of a father riding through a forest with his sick child, meeting death and discovering the child dead in his arms.
The piano accompaniment depicted the galloping of the horse and the luring of the child toward death.
Sophomore Nathan Lahr, baritone, followed with “Mein!,” a song about masculine victory.
Lahr gave a strong, confident vocal performance that also provided a comedic relief entertaining the crowd with emotions and facial expressions.
Freshman Steven Andrews, a tenor who has never had vocal lessons, gave a promising performance portraying the story of a song about two young lovers who share a secret.
Other student vocalists included senior sopranos Jasmine Effner and Andrea Randall, and sophomore soprano Melissa Stahly.
These women exhibited refined vocals and strong, outstanding performances with songs about love and beauty.
“I believe everyone performed to the best of their ability and did a wonderful job,” Stahly said.
The ULV chamber singers also contributed a three part song set that proved as strong as always with a rich, full sound from all vocal ranges.
The piano lid was raised three times during the evening for piano performances to place more focus on the music rather than the vocalist.
Raising the piano lid allows higher frequencies from the piano strings to radiate from the top of the piano enriching the overall sound.
Foreign exchange student Masami Tomita played a nocturne from Chopin written to evoke the moods associated with a calm, beautiful night. The audience listened intently as Tomita made the piano sing.
A new class offered at ULV is chamber music. Representing the new program were junior Danielle Cummins, violinist, and freshman Cody Smith, pianist.
Their collaborating piece was from impressionist composer Debussy, not a romantic composer, but was included in the program because it evoked the passion of the Romantic era.
The varied tempos of the piano were complimented by the sweet sounds of the violin strings.
Smith returned later in the concert to perform a solo Chopin rendition. After taking a moment to prepare himself, he played with as much emotion as the song itself portrayed.
All performers showcased excellent talent that undoubtedly required time and effort on their behalf.
The audience enjoyed the entertainment.
There was a pause in anticipation between performers and each was received with a welcoming round of applause.
“I’m proud and pleased,” Farthing said of the performers. “They conducted themselves so well.”
“Everyone did great,” Morales said. “I had so much fun.”
Proceeds from the concert will be used to buy music and musical scores for the Music Department’s musical library to help students in their studies.
The students who performed Friday represented about one fifth of the Music Department, Farthing said.
“Students were chosen by the song they had prepared,” Stahly said. “If we had a song from the Romantic era we got to perform in the concert.”
Farthing said other students will be featured in upcoming concerts throughout the year.
“I was pleased with how the concert went,” said Stephanie Duarte, freshman Chamber singer. “I hope we’ll be able to do many more selective concerts.”
The music department’s next presentation is “Celebrate the Words.”
The show will feature the ULV Chorale and Chamber singers. The performance starts at 8 p.m. tonight in Founders Hall Auditorium. General admission is $5, students are free. All are welcome to attend the show.
For more information on other events sponsored by the Music Department, call extension 4918.