By Rogelio Alvarez
East Los Angeles College Applied Music Program students paid homage to classical artists with their musical talents on Wednesday in the S2 Recital Hall.
More than a dozen students sang challenging songs in a foreign language or performed with instruments such as a piano, cello, double bass violin, violin and classical guitar.
“The best part of performing is not just people coming out and listening to us, but this unique high that you get for being on stage. It’s a sense of accomplishment and pride,” performer Eddie Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez performed three songs, opening the recital singing “Come Away, Death.”
“I worked on it for about two and half weeks. I sang it for Dr. Lupica’s class, for his Elementary Voice 2 class and he thought, ‘hey why don’t you perform for the next recital’ and I said ‘sure that’ll be great’ and sure enough, I just took initiative and decided to play those two (other) songs in addition to singing,” Gutierrez said.
Students in the Applied Musci Program have access to one-on-one tutoring with faculty from the Music Department.
The students who performed in the recital worked with a music tutor to hone and fine-tune their songs.
“We meet twice a week during class time and the students practice a few hours everyday,” music professor Mimi Chun said.
A majority of the songs were sung in a foreign language. It was difficult to understand what the students were singing about, but their singing was still pleasant to hear. Some songs were sung in German, Italian and Spanish.
Andres Gamino Cruz is completing his second semester of the applied music program. He sung “Deh Veine alla Finestra,” while accompanied by Gutierrez playing the classical guitar.
“In Italian it means, ‘Oh come to the window.’ It challenged me in a sense. It took me about three and half weeks to prepare (for) that,” Cruz said.
She also commented on how she enjoyed the application of all of her hard work and practice that led up to the performance.
Cruz’s singing and Gutierrez’s guitar playing was in sync throughout the song. Together, they showcased the hard work they and the other student performers put into harmonizing the song.
“Honestly he was the basis for the whole song because he provided the harmony, the rhythm and everything for me. As an ensemble like that, we just have to work off of each other, that’s what being musicians is all about as well,” Cruz said.
“We put a lot of time and effort in our work. My passion is music. I love singing. I love playing guitar,” Guiterrez said.
The purpose of the student recitals is for students to apply what they’ve learned in the Applied Music Program in front of an audience.
For many of the performers, studying music and performing are both part of the learning process.
Every performer gave it their all on-stage but many of them are aware that there’s always room for improvement.
“Our choir director gives us critiques about each of our performance(s), like what we can do better and what more we can work on,” Cruz said.
The next student recital is on November 23, in the S2 performing hall. Admission is free.