Vocalists, pianists serenade La Verne

Alana Glenn
Staff Writer

An evening of talented vocal and piano performers at the University of La Verne showcased 12 of its applied music students for the year’s first student recital last Friday.

Among the performers came those of vocal and instrumental talents.

“It was nice to see such an array of talent tonight with great piano performances and singers,” junior environmental biology major Cynthia Rodriguez said.

“I see some of those who performed tonight in my classes every week and it’s cool to see them show off their talent,” she said.

The performances kicked off with a piece by Sergei Prokofiev by piano student Caelin Eager.

Between the two remaining pieces performed by participating piano students came works by Olson and Bach.

Jerad McCann played the last piano set with a more contemporary felt piece called “Sonatina in Colors.”

A shift in the program came as vocal students prepared to take the stage and Jennifer Cruz made her pieces ready to accompany the students on the piano.

Student vocalists ranged from tenor to soprano.

Tenor Ernie Reyes started off with a portion from Franz Schubert’s, “Das Wandern,” a foreign piece in which roughly translates into “To Wander.”

The crowd responded well to the change in program as the voices of the vocalists filled the acoustically sound auditorium.

Reyes sang his second song of the evening, this time a piece more dated as it was composed in the late 1600s called “Deeper and Deeper Still.”

A few of the vocal performances were those from musical plays in which the crowd reacted well to the animated styled songs.

Tenor Timothy May performed an animated style piece called “Giants in the Sky,” using an exciting and theatrical way to present the song to the audience.

David Ovcharenko, a countertenor, proved that nerves do not prevail, coming back after a second attempt in his song, “In Dreams” from the popular film series “Lord of the Rings,” bringing the audience to a loud applause.

The recital wrapped up with soprano Brianna Nemback, who sang her second piece of the night, “Art is Calling for Me,” which was received well by the audience and was a fun way to end the evening.

“I thought the recital in its entirety went really well,” said junior music major Javon Jones Wilborn.

“I enjoyed being able to perform with other musicians and singers.”

Small talk about the performances broke out as audience members made their way out of the auditorium.

“It is unbelievably humbling to hear such voices and pianists coming from such a young group,” La Verne resident Walter Johnson said.

“As someone who has heard some of the best in the business, it can be refreshing to hear amateurs working at such an impressive level,” he said.

Among those others in the crowd, a surprising number came to Morgan Auditorium as nothing more than interested members of the La Verne community.

“We heard about the performance tonight from a clipping in the San Gabriel Valley newspaper,” community member and resident of La Verne Delva Helm said.

“These concerts will surely be seeing more of me,” Helm said.

Alana Glenn can be reached at alana.glenn@laverne.edu.

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