Music recital honors best student musicians

By Melissa Fowler

Thursday night was a night of celebration for the second annual
Honors Invitational Recital featuring ten Cal Poly Pomona’s music
students who have shown excellence in music achievement.

The students who performed had to endure solo performances in
front of a panel of faculty members to be chosen for the showcase
last fall. It was part of their studio class final.

“[They are] very talented. The music is super old school,” said
John Tran, a first-year mechanical engineering student.

Melissa Torres performed Mitchell Peters’ “Themes and
Variations” on the marimba which resembles a xylophone but with
much larger keys made of wood and possessing a lower pitch.

Torres was able to control the vibration frequencies in Peters’
series to make the tune very rich and harmonic.

“I am very honored [to be performing,]” said Torres.

Michael Mariano performed French composer Claude Debussy’s
“Golliwogg’s Cakewalk” with a French horn.

Mariano was excited to be able to showcase the hard work he did
in mastering the piece.

“It definitely puts us in the position as being some of the
leaders of the department since many of us have been here a while,”
said Mariano. “And it’s a great opportunity for all of us to
perform and showcase all the hard work we have done over the

Gabriel Rodriguez was able to play Heitor Villa Lobos’ “Prelude
1” and “Prelude 2” with little effort. His body was calm and
steady, as his fingers struck the strings and moving up and down
the neck creating a fast but mellow Brazilian tone.

“It was very smooth,” said Cameron Nakasone, a first-student
biology technology student.

“It really calmed me down.”

Matt Starcher, an alumnus, enjoyed watching his friend, Josh
Endres’ guitar performance of Andrew York’s, an American classical
guitarist and composer, “Sunburst with Introduction.”

“Josh did a great job on such a great, brutal technical piece,”
said Starche.

Music students Raenne Pfeifer and Ed Carlo Arafiles used their
vocal pipes to reach the lowest and the highest notes. Both were
able to project their voices over Music Professor Janet Noll’s
piano key to annunciate each word.

“[Arafiles] was spectacular. His ability to be so diverse in the
[two] pieces and his performance showed how talented he is in his
field. Very talented with his voice range,” said Alex Merrill, a
third-year Azusa Pacific University student.

Student pianists, Phillip Pitcher and Charles Parsons, mastered
classical pieces to create very different dynamic sounds and speed
with the piano keys. Each showed great passion and emotion in their

“[Phillip Pitcher] beat the hell out of that [piano],” said

Pitcher played Russian composer Alexander Scriabin’s “Etude in
D-sharp minor, Op. 8, No. 12,” a dramatic motive piece with
technical challenges including interval stretches, numerous left
hand jumps and repetitive chord strikes.

Parsons performed “Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-Flat minor, Op.
23,” composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky with Noll playing the
piano next to him. It was a slower and a more romantic

Reach the authors at:

Music recital honors best student musicians

Pedro Corona/Poly Post

Music recital honors best student musicians

Music recital honors best student musicians

Pedro Corona/Poly Post

Music recital honors best student musicians

Music recital honors best student musicians

Pedro Corona/Poly Post

Music recital honors best student musicians

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