By Aanuoluwapo Akingbemi and Kaitlyn Oliveros, Nov. 8, 2022 

CPP’s music department hosted its Fall Honors Concert on Nov. 3 at the Recital Hall showcasing pieces students have been working on for a month.

The concert included nine performances each, from a different genre of music. Some students picked pieces from well-known composers such as Leo Brouwer and Humberto Estrada to perform, while others performed original pieces.

Ellen Shaw, a fourth-year music student, shared that this concert was her debut as a composer.

“I’m kind of excited for them (the audience) to see my style, what I’ve been working on for the past few months and the past few years as I’ve culminated to this performance,” said Shaw. “I’m just excited to show my composer style with everyone.”

Preparing to showcase a piece that has never been heard before can be intimidating, according to both Shaw and second-year music student Christian Solis Alvarado, who performed Shaw’s original piece “Suite for Clarinet and Piano” alongside Zachary McConnell.

Alvarado shared more about the process of preparing for this performance.

Aanuoluwapo Akingbemi | The Poly Post

“It’s always really cool playing something for the first time,” said Alvarado. “Playing by yourself, studying the piece then playing with the composer is totally different because she gives the idea of what she’s trying to do. It’s a great experience overall.”

Many of the students performing at the concert have been practicing music for over a decade, such as Alvarado who’s been playing the clarinet for 11 years. He spoke about what he loves most about performing.

“It’s a way of expression,” said Alvarado. “I can demonstrate my passion for music. I have been practicing playing the clarinet for forever now, so it’s always exciting to demonstrate this.”

The concert ended with a song written and performed on the guitar by Renée Ines Paladini, fourth-year music and English literature student.

Paladini’s journey in music began in the second-grade choir. She mentioned the love she has for music.

“It is how I connect to the earth,” said Paladini. “It is how I connect to my appreciation for education and learning and discovering things. I discover through music, so it’s everything to me.”

When asked about what music has taught her, she said music has taught her patience and appreciation for other genres of music.

“Be patient with yourself and appreciate even what you don’t know,” said Paladini. “I really have learned as a music major, coming in, I thought I knew genres that were only going to be what I liked, and I’ve opened myself up to so many different things. I love mariachi music now, I love K-Pop, I love country music, it’s pretty much the whole variety. It comes together and makes you really appreciate it.”

Paladini shared what she would like the audience to take from her song “Tell Me Why.”

“I would sincerely hope that they can find the center of peace in themselves,” said Paladini. “A lot of this world is filled with anxiety and stress and overwhelming emotions. Right now, there’s a lot of chaos and war and violence and a lot of things we don’t understand. I think maybe taking away that there is peace in knowing that one day you will (understand).”

Jimin Broussard, a second-year composition student who was in attendance, shared their thoughts on the concert.

“It was amazing,” said Broussard. “I went because I have some friends in there, and I’ve heard some of their songs. They’re really talented and skilled, so it was really fun to watch. I really liked Ellen Shaw’s composed clarinet piece playing into the piano to create that lasting sound. It was really innovative.” 

The next concert called the “Philharmonic Orchestra Concert” will be on Nov. 10 at 8 p.m. To find out more about upcoming concerts and ticket information, students can visit the music department’s page on the CPP website.  

Feature image courtesy of Aanuoluwapo Akingbemi

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