Winter Showcase: the sounds of students

By Joseph Muldoon

The music department gave student-musicians some time in the
spotlight Thursday at the annual Winter Showcase Music Hour in the
Music Recital Hall.

The showcase is a free noon-hour concert series produced by the
music department each quarter.

It gives students from around campus the opportunity to enjoy
what music students have been practicing during the year.

After the recital hall doors opened, more than 50 students and
faculty members made their way into the hall.

“I’m here today because I have to do a concert report for my
intro to music class,” said Anthony Ragland, a second-year business

This was a common answer among student attendees, several music
professors require their students to attend a number of
performances each quarter.

After the room filled, the lights dimmed and the show’s first
performer took the stage to a steady applause.

Linda Huang played “Tempo di gavotta” and “Allegro” by George
Friedrich Handel. Janet Noel accompanied her on the piano. Huang’s
performance was brilliant and set the mood for what was to be a
wonderful hour of music.

The next performance was a classical guitar piece played by
Nathan Sheagley. Sheagley played John Dowland’s “Earl of Essex, his
galliard” and Luiz Bonfa’s “Silencio Do Amor.” Sheagley’s
performance was very technical and he played it with great

The only singer to perform at the show was soprano Ammy Beltran.
Beltran sang “Why did they shut me out of heaven” and “Heart, we
will forget him” by Aaron Copland, along with “Come ready and see
me” by Richard Hundley.

The first pianist to perform was Vanessa Estrada, playing “I’ve
got rhythm” by George Gershwin. Estrada played the piece without
the sheet music in front of her, and admitted to being a little
nervous about performing.

“I’ve been practicing this for two quarters now,” said Estrada.
“This is the first time it will be memorized completely so
hopefully it will be a good performance.”

The next pianist was Phillip Pritcher, who played a very
technical piece by Ludwig van Beethoven, “Piano sonata No. 23.”

“Phillip played wonderfully,” said Dr. Nadia Shpachenko, a music
professor. “He played the piece very passionately.”

Casey Farmen played “Jhinjoti” on the sitar. Several of the
students in attendance had never had the opportunity to hear a
sitar prior to Farmen’s performance.

“Casey was working on a non-western instrument so it’s not
something we are used to hearing,” said Ethan Sanchez, a music
business student. “I thought it was a great opportunity for music
students to see what the other students have been working on.”

There was an original piece written by Louis Vasquez, a senior
music performance student, titled “Smoggy Air.” Mike Mariano,
Tyrone Green, Lori Sandona, Sean Keating, Chris Myrick and Vasquez
performed the piece.

“It’s a piece we’ve been working on last quarter and this
quarter,” said Vasquez. “I arranged it to brass ensemble for the
Cal Poly Brass Ensemble.”

To close the show Sean Keating performed a piece on the bagpipes
along with the brass ensemble. The group played John Kuzma’s
“Highland Cathedral.”

“It’s great to see the different instruments we have in this
department,” said Linda Huang, a music student and performer at the
show. “Being able to see them perform in the recital hall for
people is great.”

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