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CRC students showcase their pieces and talent at music recital

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Juan Gonzalez entered the stage overlooking a silent auditorium of still-faced parents, students and audience members. At the other end of the stage, a grand piano beckoned.

“I practiced the piece every morning, afternoon and night,” the 20-year-old music major said.

Gonzales sat down on the padded bench, set his transcription of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s Solfeggietto on the music stand, took one long, deep breath to calm the nerves, and filled the silence.

His performance was a part of this semester’s culminating recital, a music department showcase presented on the night of Nov. 27.

“It’s all of the work the students have been doing the entire semester,” said Kurt Erickson, a music professor at Cosumnes River College and the coordinator of the musical evening. “A lot of the students are music majors, but there are also performers that just love making music and it’s great to see that passion reveal itself on stage.”

The program is meant to prepare the students for their future experiences at a music institution. Performers are chosen by audition, much like they would at a conservatory.

“It’s one thing to learn and study a piece on your own,” Erickson said. “It’s a completely different skill set to be able to perform it successfully in front  of a public audience. It’s one of those learn-by-doing things.”

Once accepted, many students begin practicing their pieces with help from professional instructors within and outside of the college.

Twenty-year-old music major Catherine Cheshire prepared two pieces for the event. The first was a piano movement composed by Franz Schubert, “Impromptu Op. 142 #2”. The second was a French choral piece entitled “Apres Un Reve,” by Gabriel Fauré.

“I have group piano lessons on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” Cheshire said, “and vocal lessons every Sunday.” And, much like the other musicians, Cheshire practiced her piece as often as she could, every day leading to the recital.

“The recital lets you show off what you worked hard at.” she said. “It’s a chance to show off your personal best. I hope that I blow people’s minds!”

Twenty-nine year-old music major Emma Elmore  schooled three preludes from Gershwin. Kevin Brisco’s adaptation of the first movement from “Beethoven’s Piano Sonata Op. 2 #1” was impeccable. Music major Ashley Slavensky, 26, sung like a bird to “Fruhlingsglaube,” and 23 year-old vocalist Giordan Salangsang   provided a rendition of “Nuit D’etoiles”  that would have Pavarotti smiling at his memorial.

Some of the mentors provided accompaniment, like music professor Kathryn Smith with Melody Morphis’ performance of “How Beautiful are the Feet,” and Narmina Sultanova with 18 year-old music education major Juan Castaneda’s Euphonium selection “Morceau Symphonique.”

The night was filled with a variety of technically impressive and emotionally riveting compositions ranging from Beethoven to Gershwin, Schubert and Chopin. It was a variable homage to any classical music lover, and a fantastic exhibition for the uninitiated.

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Mozes Zarate, Former Staff

Mozes Zarate was journalist on staff for two semesters at The Connection. He served as an editorial assistant for the News section and a beat writer...

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CRC students showcase their pieces and talent at music recital