by Brian Ortega
The first student recital of the semester was presented by the University of La Verne Music Department March 13.
Ten students from the Music Department took center stage as they performed an array of solo and duet musical compositions from different eras.
The crowd was a decent size, given the fact that it was a late afternoon performance. Mainly consisting of students and faculty, the crowd jumped into the performance with applause and enthusiasm as the first performer took stage for a solo performance.
Stephanie Duarte, a mezzo soprano and student of Scott Farthing took the stage first. She performed confidently a difficult piece titled, “So Pretty” by Leonard Bernstein.
“I was very nervous before I went on, but I prayed, and it went away. It turned out better than I expected it to be,” Duarte said.
Next was a performance by Siddeeqah Shabazz, an alto and student of Carol Stephenson, performing a sentimental piece, “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child,” arranged by Moses Hogan. Shabazz did a wonderful job adding a dramatic twist to her piece by clinging to the piano and using body motions throughout the song.
Anthony Guerrero, a baritone, took the stage next, performing a deep and passionate piece titled “Nina,” written by Giovanni Pergolesi. Guerrero, who appeared to be nervous at first, did well as the song progressed and finished off strongly, hitting a difficult note.
“Simple Song from Mass,” written by Leonard Bernstein, was then performed by tenor Michael Stallings. Stallings did well, as he too appeared nervous, yet shook it off as the song hit its climactic point.
Kim Reed then stunned the audience with a beautiful rendition of “Vedrai Carino from Don Giovanni” by W.A. Mozart. Reed, a soprano, is a student of Hae Kyung Rhee.
The next performance was a real treat, as the duo of Misa Kitagawa on violin, and Masami Tomita on piano, took the stage performing two pieces. The duet performed “Concerto for Violin in G Major” by Vivaldi and “Meditation” by Massenet.
The biggest surprise of the evening came from Nathan Lahr, a baritone, and Cody Smith, on piano. The duo did a hilarious piece titled, “Concentration Aria” from the “Four Note Opera.”
“Nathan thought it was cool, and the piano part was easy, so it was a fun piece,” Smith said.
The piece was written by modern composer Tom Johnson, who is best known for his opera “The Four Note Opera.”
The recital finished off strong with another duet performance on the piano by Hiromi Kuroda and Masami Tomita. They played “Berceuse” from “Dolly Suite” by Gabriel Faure and “Hochzeitmarsch” from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by Felix Mendelssohn.
The two did an outstanding job, giving the audience a treat by finishing off the student recital with a familiar tune.
“I think everyone did well,” Reed said. “They put in a lot of work and gave it their all.”
The Music Department will host several concerts in the spring as part of its Spring Concert Series.
The University Chorale and Chamber Singers will perform at 8 p.m., tonight and tomorrow in Founders Auditorium. General admission is $5, and students are free.