By Maria Isabel Cubillo
Attendees were transported to a 1930s opera, a party out of the “Great Gatsby” and a walk through the woods by the musical performances of students of the Applied Music Program.
The recital featured Yunting Xie, an East Los Angeles College graduate who now attends the University of Southern California’s School of Music. She performed three pieces: Bach’s “Prelude, English Suite No. 2,” Haydn’s “Sonata in F, Hob. XXIII, Mvt. I” and Debussy’s “Pagodes (from: Estampes).” Her piano interpretations were captivating, and the audience became lost in the music.
The audience applauded and shouted bravo for Alfred Reganyan. Reganyan performed Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Prelude & Fugue in F sharp Major.” The melody felt like a playful walk in the woods with fragments of suspense.
Tenor vocalist Eddie Gutierrez’s interpretation of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Der Vogelfänger” transported the audience to a 1930s opera by combining an upbeat melody with gestures as he performed the song.
“I did the hand gestures in order for the audience to understand what I am trying to sing about,” Gutierrez said. Hadassah Meneses, a former applied music program student, said she could see the progress of each student, and that all of the performances evoked emotions in her. “Each performer had a piece of their soul within their piece,” Meneses said.
When Monique Mauries performed Robert Schumann’s “Du bist wie eine Blume,” the audience was treated to an upbeat “Great Gatsby” themed party. Simiao Xiao’s interpretation of Bach’s “Prelude from Suite No. 2” strayed from its original composition to the delight of the audience. The piece was intended for a cello, which creates a more somber tone, but she performed it with a viola, changing its pitch and making it livelier. The audience then traveled to the French countryside when Selene Fernandez performed Franz Schubert’s “Seligkeit.”
The white dress and white headband of Fernandez projected the joyfulness of the music and vocals. Melinda Hovesepian and Juan Gamez’s interpretation of Samuel Barber’s “Pas de Deux” was somber with touches of hope. Vocalist Eugene Lopez sang Roger Quilter’s “Come Away Death” in baritone. His interpretation of the lyrics were mellow and reflective.
Michael Cooper’s interpretation of Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Allegro con brio” was energetic performed the composition with sounds that transmitted a rush of emotions The audience was able to immerse themselves into the somberness of Arturo Gallardo’s interpretation of Bob Haggard’s “What’s New,” and the composition swiftly went into light hearted moments at times.
The accompanying audio had minor glitches from a scratched CD, but his tenor voice made the technical difficulties easy to overlook.