Music department displays different music programs


Victoria Truesdale

Music professor Maxwell Kiesner conducting the band and orchestra.

Cosumnes River College’s music department held a Student Spotlight showcase Thursday night for the Instrumental and Choral Music programs.
The showcase featured performances from the choir, the jazz band and a combined concert band and orchestra. The program was directed by music professors Omari Tau and Maxwell Kiesner.
“We deserve an opportunity to showcase the talent of the students,” said Kiesner. “That’s why we do a lot of solos, to make sure that everyone’s best self is being represented.”
Tau opened the show by introducing the choir, a combination of concert and chamber singers. The choir performed six songs, including a popular Harry Belafonte song where they encouraged the audience to sing a section.
After the choir performed, Kiesner opened for the band performances. The first band to play was the jazz band with a performance inspired by traditional New Orleans brass bands.
“I really loved the jazz band. I have a lot of family from New Orleans and I really am glad that they chose that,” said Brianna Brock, a 20-year-old voice performance major and member of the choir.
The jazz band’s five-song performance was student-led and lively, with audience participation encouraged through clapping and singing along with some of the pieces. Kiesner also got involved with the music by playing the cowbell in the background.
The combined band and orchestra were the final group to perform and included a few non-traditional orchestra instruments such as a guitar and a grand piano.
Three of the pieces the band performed were arranged by students and one was conducted by a student.
“It feels great. It’s a great experience, being able to write compositions you don’t get at many other campuses,” said 19-year-old Armando Muse, a music major. This was his third time arranging a piece for the band.
Student conductor Edson Saechao received a standing ovation after he finished conducting his piece. He said while his family couldn’t make it to the student showcase, the band was a lot like a family to him as well.
For the final piece of the night, the band played the CRC fight song and Kiesner pulled a member of the audience onstage to conduct the song. The audience member, who introduced herself as Debbie, closed out the performance and departed the stage to applause and cheering from both the audience and the band.
The next CRC Music: Student Spotlight will be Thursday, Dec. 8.