Student recital adds personal flair to classics

Caelin Eager, senior music major, plays Frederic Chopin’s Nocturne in F minor Oct. 23 in Morgan Auditorium for the Fridays at Noon concert series. The recital also featured student vocalists. The next installment is on Nov. 20. / photo by Kristina Bugante
Caelin Eager, senior music major, plays Frederic Chopin’s Nocturne in F minor Oct. 23 in Morgan Auditorium for the Fridays at Noon concert series. The recital also featured student vocalists. The next installment is on Nov. 20. / photo by Kristina Bugante

Autumn Simon
Staff Writer

Student vocalists and pianists performed a variety of art pieces from songs to arias Friday at the music department’s Fridays at Noon concert series at Morgan Auditorium.

One of the highlight performers, junior music major Sarah Alonzo, performed two pieces. Her first number was “Oh! Quand je dors” a piece by the composer and virtuoso pianist, Franz Liszt.

“This piece was about my adventures with love and the different phases,” Alonzo said. “It is about waiting for your lover and partner to come back because without them you are not yourself.”

After receiving applause, she began singing “Always Through the Changing” from “The Ballad of Baby Doe,” an opera by American composer Douglas Moore. She said she enjoys “The Ballad of Baby Doe” because of its operatic style.

“I really loved the opera,” Alonzo said. “It was high and challenging because it was in English, which is harder than it appears.”

Alonzo’s performance was influenced by Instructors of Music Jonathan Mack and Carol Stephenson. “Jonathan really taught me about technique, like how to project confidently or breathing techniques,” Alonzo said. “Carol taught me more about style, like how to direct my voice”.

After Alonzo’s performance, there were guest performances from Special Assistant to the Provost Mark Goor and senior music major Caelin Eager. Both performed piano pieces by composer Frederic Chopin.

Goor performed “Raindrop Prelude, Op. 28 No. 15” and Eager performed “Nocturne in F minor.”

About 40 audience members attended the performances of students who took private lessons from instructors at the University of La Verne.

The student vocalists were senior music major Ashley Visco, soprano; senior music major Terry Dopson, baritone; senior music major Brianna Nemback, soprano; junior music major Katie Ochoa, soprano; junior music major Garrison Holder, tenor and Alonzo, soprano.

After the performance, the majority of the performers greeted Irene Messoloras, director of choral activities and vocal studies, who waited in the audience to congratulate the performers.

“It is always great to see young talent perform,” Messoloras said. “I loved the diversity of the concert, the variety from art songs and arias to musical theater.”

Vocal students from the studios of Mack, Heather Normandie and Stephenson preformed musical pieces accompanied by pianist Jennifer Cruz. Piano students of Grace Zhao, University artist-in-residence also performed. Cruz said each performer took a piece from a well-known composer and added their own style to the performance. Some performers also researched the meaning of their piece and took it as their own life lesson, Alonzo said. Dopson performed “The Streets of Dublin” from the musical “A Man of No Importance” by Stephen Flaherty.

Dopson performed strongly with great gestures and a great amount of energy.

The other performers used skills and techniques they learned from their instructors to create an impressive recital and a tough act to follow for incoming students.

“I really appreciated performing for everyone, especially Brianna and Katie,” Cruz said. “Brianna Nemback and Katie Ochoa’s performance were engaging and drew the audience in their performance.”

Their stage presence was mature and both conveyed to the audience what their songs were about.

The purpose of the Fridays at Noon concert series is to showcase the talents of the faculty and students in the music department.

The vocal instructors selected the most experienced students to perform for this early recital and to be an example for incoming students in the music department.

“For me I felt most of the students did a great job, and having a lot of attendance helped out,” Cruz said. “The idea was to bring out or showcase the best of the best of the studios, so we anticipated the kind of quality they would produce.”

The vocalists performed works of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Flaherty, George F. Handel, W.A. Mozart, Johannes Brahms, Liszt, Moore, Chopin, Gabriel Faure and Samuel Barber.

The music department’s next performance, “Time,” will be from the La Verne choirs and performed at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 7 at Morgan Auditorium.

“The La Verne chamber singers and chorale will give the audience a diverse selection of music from classical, contemporary, jazz and gospel,” Messoloras said. “Soloists will be featured and the show is about the passage of light and time and the enlightenment that it brings.”

Autumn Simon can be reached at autumn.simon@laverne.edu.

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