The Philharmonic Orchestra performed Nov. 8 in the Kaleidoscope Concert with a performance showcasing the 2018 Concerto scholarship recipient Alejandro Barajas, a third-year music education student.

The Philharmonic Orchestra is conducted by Professor Janine Riveire at Cal Poly Pomona and consists of 19 violins, four violas, two cellos, two contrabasses, three flutes, two clarinets, an oboe, a bassoon, five horns, two trumpets, a tuba, a keyboard and three percussion personnel.

Barajas is a member of the CPP Philharmonic Orchestra; however, this time he was able to perform his own solo piece titled “Concerto No. 1” by Chin Cheng Lin with the Philharmonic Orchestra accompanying him.

“The solo was really nice,” said Allen Lin, a fifth-year music education student and Philharmonic Orchestra member. “There was a beautiful ending and [it] was a great concerto piece with Alex [Alejandro] performing.”

Conductor Professor Janine Riveire and the Philharmonic Orchestra present the Kaleidoscope Concert 2018 with Concerto scholarship recipient Alejandro Barajas (in red). (Christina Manuel | The Poly Post)

The show began with the CPP OPUS string ensemble which consisted of two violins, five violas and one cello player performing below the stage.

The OPUS string ensemble performed “Brandenburg Concerto #6” by J.S. Bach, “Fantasia in E minor” by Henry Purcell and “Fantastical Kanon and Jam” by Riveire.

In her piece, “Fantastical Kanon and Jam,” Riveire stopped conducting and joined in to accompany her students. There was a constant repetition of quarter notes starting off the piece, as if laying the tracks for the rest of the music to follow.

The fourth piece was Barajas’s marimba piece performed by himself and the Philharmonic Orchestra. Barajas was invited to perform in the Kaleidoscope Concert with his solo piece after he won first place in the $600 Concerto Scholarship Competition earlier this year.

Describing Barajas’s music background, the concert program states, “Barajas began full percussive studies under Cal Poly Pomona Professor Bill Schlitt. He has performed with independent drum corps and indoor drumline groups, and is currently active in school ensembles as well as an independent chamber ensemble.”

Barajas set the tone of the piece by beginning with his solo movement leaving a feeling of anticipation, growing into the larger sound of the Philharmonic Orchestra to accompany him.

With two mallets in each hand, Barajas could be seen smiling, enjoying the music while his hands were flying across the keys.

Concerto scholarship recipient Alejandro Barajas (Christina Manuel | The Poly Post)

“I really enjoyed the marimba concerto,” said Erica Vergara, a fourth-year music industry studies student. “I thought it was really beautiful.”

“City Trees” by Priscilla Alden Beach not only showcased the string instruments, however, but also highlighted the wind sections including the fainter sound of the flutes and clarinets embellishing the piece.

The last piece performed, “A Night on Bald Mountain” by Modest Mussorgsky and Ed. Henry Sopkin, was the most dramatic of the pieces.

Starting the piece with the string instruments, the musicians began strumming ominously building up a white noise, leading to a dramatic introduction of piercing sixteenth notes scattered throughout the piece, almost portraying dramatic footsteps of someone running. As well, the sight of the bows violently rising and falling in unison with the speed of the tempo was a sight so see.

For more information about upcoming shows, visit the music department calendar at

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