By Joe Dargan
Violins, violas and cellos dazzled the crowd during the string recital led by instructor and violinist Samvel Chilingarian on Thursday in the S2 Recital Hall.
Joined by pianist Dr. Lucy Nargizyan, the group initially performed in sections according to the instrumentalist’s skill level.
The Beginning String Class opened the event with a performance of the holiday classic “Jingle Bells,” written by James Lord Peirpont in 1857 and originally named “The One Horse Open Sleigh.”
Jingle Bells was followed by classics like “Old Macdonald Had A Farm,” Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s version of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and folk song “For Pete’s Sake.”
Next up was the Pre-Intermediate String Class, which performed Joseph Haydn’s theme from “London Symphony,” William Billing’s patriotic anthem “Chester,” Allen’s “Song For Anne” and “America the Beautiful” written by Samuel A Ward.
When the pre-intermediate group was done, the Intermediate String Class brought Johann Sebastian Bach’s “March in D” to life, followed by folk song “Long Long Ago.”
After the first three groups performed, solo violinist Mayra Meza delivered a rendition of Haydn’s “Concerto in G” that showed promise, but fell short of perfection.
The performance suffered from a few off-key notes.
“I’ve been playing seriously for about four years. It started as a hobby, but now I’m thinking of it seriously.
“I may move on to teaching and doing something in the community like a not-for-profit program,” Meza said.
Meza was followed by solo violist Simiao Xiao, who prefers to be called Doris.
Xiao was scheduled to perform Franz Schubert’s “Arpeggione Sonata” but performed Alexander Konstantinovich Glazunov’s “Elegie” instead.
She had a non-ELAC related audition scheduled soon and wanted to get some practice in.
Xioa’s performance was the best of the night. The notes were spot on.
“When I’m on the stage and it’s me and the piano, I can enjoy the music more. It makes me feel better,” Xiao said.
When the soloists finished their performances, the Advanced String Class performed Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite.”
The advanced class played with an added hint of professionalism.
The extra hours were evident in their execution of the music.
The recital was capped off with an inspiring performance of Ludwig Van Beethoven’s “Ode To Joy” by the entire ensemble, known together as The Strings of ELAC.
“I’m a violinist myself. I went through all of the training and I love passing it on,” Chilingarian said.
“These are people that played a little bit and maybe they stopped or they always wanted to play but didn’t have a chance.
“Now they’ve come to the college level and started playing an instrument and that’s a very commendable thing for anyone,” Chilingarian said.
Though the performances were not perfect, the level of difficulty certainly warranted applause.
Upon completion, the crowd showed its appreciation with a thunderous standing ovation.
The String Department’s next concert is on Thursday at 8 p.m. in the S2 recital Hall.