Students return to the stage for in-person recitals

Colin Coppock, senior political science major, opens the student recitals with the song “Freeze Your Brain” from “Heathers: The Musical” Oct. 15 in Morgan Auditorium. The student recital was the music department’s first in-person recital since the start of the pandemic. / photo by Jingyao Liang
Colin Coppock, senior political science major, opens the student recital with the song “Freeze Your Brain” from “Heathers: The Musical” Oct. 15 in Morgan Auditorium. The student recital was the music department’s first in-person recital since the start of the pandemic. / photo by Jingyao Liang

Anabel Martinez
Arts Editor

After 21 long months of strictly virtual recitals, the University of La Verne music department held its first in-person music recital of the year Oct. 15 at noon in Morgan Auditorium with an audience of approximately 30 people.

The recital included a wide variety of styles and sounds ranging from dramatic opera to comedic musical tunes to sad ballads.

Ariel Pisturino, applied voice instructor, said the students have been happy to be back in-person and practiced their performance pieces in weekly lessons with an instructor. They also met in a studio class every Friday so they felt as prepared and confident as possible.

“I think it was so much easier jumping back in-person because we already know what to do. We’re here. We’re ready. We’re together,” Pisturino said. “I think it was harder the other way, transitioning to being online, because then we had to figure out technical issues.”

Irene Messoloras, associate professor of music, voice and chorus, happily welcomed the audience and encouraged everyone to keep their masks on for the entirety of the recital.

Colin Coppock, senior political science major, kicked off the event with a performance of “Heathers: The Musical’s” “Freeze Your Brain” accompanied by pianist Zachary DeChance.

Junior computer science major Lachlan Tatterson smiled with the crowd while he played the upbeat tune of “Misty” by Errol Garner on piano.

The audience was captivated by senior music major Kate Correnti’s vocals as she sang up and down a chromatic scale in her performance of Claude Debussy’s “C’est l’extase.”

Others filled the auditorium with the sound of high notes and vibratos.

All of the performers wore a face mask and adjusted them throughout their performance to make sure they were properly wearing them, fully covering their mouth and nose.

Yipu Liu, freshman digital media major, said he decided to attend the recital because he is involved in La Verne Chamber Singers along with many of the performers and has heard them all practice before.

“I’m kind of surprised because some of them, when they performed a song, it was not what I heard them practice before but they all did well and even the new songs they performed were better than the old ones,” Liu said.

For many students, this was their first live performance at ULV.

Vincent Briseno, sophomore theater arts major, sang “Come Back” from the musical “Dogfight.”

“During senior year in high school, I was supposed to perform it at a competition, but it got canceled because of COVID so I never got to,” Briseno said. “I’ve been wanting to perform it so I thought why not today.”

He said he felt the nerves kick in before going on stage, but was happy with his performance.

Amber Napoli, junior music major, sang the elegant “Quando me’n vo” from the opera “La Bohème.”

She said although she was nervous, knowing that her friends, family and peers were there to support her made her feel comfortable.

“When you’re doing a challenging piece for the first time in front of a live audience, there’s nothing like it,” Napoli said. “It’s really exhilarating and it’s fun.”

Anabel Martinez can be reached at anabel.martinez2@laverne.edu.

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Anabel Martinez is a senior digital media major with a concentration in film and television, and a journalism minor. She serves as the managing editor overseeing all of the Campus Times sections and was previously editor-in-chief in Spring 2022.

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Jingyao Liang, a junior business administration major and photography minor, is a staff photographer for the Campus Times.

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