Students showcase talent at Honors Invitational Recital

Cal Poly Pomona’s music department put on the spring 2020 Honor’s Invitational Recital Thursday, Feb. 6 at the Music Recital Hall. 

The recital serves as an important exam for both upper and lower division music performance students. 

“I am super proud of every performer,” director and professor Arthur Winer said. “This showed off the breadth of our department.” 

In this performance, students were either assigned a song from a music professor or chose to perform their own original pieces. Each student was hand-picked by the music department board of professors. “Vocally, only six people were allowed to be in this, so it’s an honor,” said soprano vocalist and fifth-year music industry student Juana Nuñez.

The night’s program displayed performers ranging from vocalists, guitarists and painists, to a tuba player, a marimba player, a cellist and a flutist. Kevin Garnica played piano behind most vocalists that took the stage that night.  

According to the student performers, the greatest challenge they face in an event like this is nerves.

“I’m honored to be a part of it,” said guitar specialist and senior music education student Emile Poree. “I do get a little nervous, but once you hit that first note, it all goes away …. The longer I’m here, the more I enjoy it.” 

This night resonated with the performers. “I want (the audience) to feel what I portray, so like the song I sang was a mom singing to her dead baby,” Nuñez said of her opera set. “The song is really dissonant in a way, but then it goes happy …. I want them to be a little freaked out by the song, think it’s a little weird, but still enjoy it obviously.”

Winer described his job as director “the easy part,” then went on to claim performers AJ Culpepper (pianist/vocalist) and Jasmine Diaz (vocalist) as parts in his very own ensemble. Winer said the piano set performed by pianist Edmund Banuelos stood out to him the most, as it was his first time ever seeing him perform. 

As the show came to an end, Winer commented on the abundance of performances, varieties in instrumentation, and duration of Garnica’s piano playing. “Garnica is probably in the back icing his hands after all of those performances,” Winer said. 

Second-year music industry student Tyler Gates, fourth-year music industry student Krizielle Mendoza and fourth-year music industry student Jasmine Diaz (members of the group Chasing Ghosts) said they’ve seen a lot more credit and popularity come to their department since music professor Nadia Shpachenko’s recent Grammy win.

If you want to hear more from CPP’s music department, be sure to follow them on Instagram and Twitter @CppMusicDept. 

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