Concert kicks off Chamber Music Festival

By Prisilla Contreras-Soto

On Friday night, Cal Poly Pomona’s Music Department presented the Shpachenko and Friends concert, which featured CPP Piano Instructor Nadia Shpachenko and numerous master artists.

Featured artists included Maia Jasper on violin, Marek Szpakiewicz on cello and Genevieve Lee on piano.

The concert also featured works by Shpachenko’s colleagues. The night of the concert held the world premiere of “Finger Songs,” a work by Peter Yates, CPP guitar and music theory instructor.

“Music is about people,” said Yates. “It’s more fun to compose and imagine with somebody else in mind. I prefer to write music that I can play with others.”

The night also included a work by Pomona College professor, Tom Flaherty. The piece, called “Airdancing,” was made for piano, toy piano and electronics.

Alex Gonzalez, the stage manager for the concert, was able to listen in on the concert and “Airdancing” by Flaherty was an “interesting” piece that he enjoyed.

“It’s really interesting to see the music [Shpachenko] brings in and the people she brings in,” said Gonzalez. “[My favorite piece] I would have to say was the toy piano, piano, electronic piece. It was the first time I had seen anyone play a laptop. It is by far the most interesting thing I have seen.”

Gonzalez was also able to work closely with the performers. As the stage manager he had to follow the needs of the performers and help set up any equipment needed for the concert.

This event was an important and busy event for Shpachenko, who was the focus of the concert.

Shpachenko was involved in planning the event, setting up rehearsal times and bringing people in to perform for her event among many other tasks.

“I really loved collaborating with the wonderful guest artists that I brought here,” said Shpachenko. “I know a lot of people. I always make sure to bring the absolute top notch musicians.”

As a well-known pianist, Shpachenko will be performing the pieces she performed at Friday night’s concert at a number of different venues. In the next month, she will be performing in different parts of Southern California and ultimately play as an artist in residence in Las Vegas.

This event, along with the other events in the Music Department, is made possible by Teresa Kelly, Music Department publicist.

For Kelly, concerts held by the music department are a very important factor to the department’s success.

“All of our concerts support the music department in a lot of different ways,” said Kelly. “With this particular concert, it’s a faculty performer and she is a world renowned pianist and travels all over the world. So it obviously brings that caliber of performance to our music department here at Cal Poly [Pomona]. It offers an educational experience for our students.”

Kelly also is encouraging students’ attendance at these musical performances.

“All of our performances do benefit our [music] students and our classrooms,” said Kelly. “Any proceeds go toward student scholarships and also to support these programs by bringing in additional guest artists.”

The Shpachenko Music Festival will include two master piano classes.

The first was held Monday with Genevieve Lee who was a pianist in the Shpachenko and Friends concert.

The second master class will be held Friday with another guest pianist coming in to teach Shpachenko’s piano students.

Friday’s master class will conclude the festival.

Chamber Music Festival

Derek Eng/The Poly Post

Chamber Music Festival

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