Skip to main content


Showing posts from May, 2014

Welcome To Kohl Mansion

John McCarthy, president of the Pacific Musical Society,presents the 2014 Winner’s Reception and Concert in association with Music at Kohl Mansion. I did not attend the reception, which took place at 6:00pm, so I will start right away with the recital itself. The first piece on the program was String Quartet No.1, Part One - Toccata composed by Eric Tran. This piece was performed by the Friction Quartet: Kevin Rogers and Otis Harriel on violinsl; Taija Warbelow on viola; and Doug Machiz on cello. Eric Tran is the first place composition award winner for ages 17-22. The piece was written in a traditional manner, which personally to me was a pleasure to listen to. I was glad to hear the traditional yet contemporary music. The performance of the piece itself was also very bright and expressive. This piece was a perfect opening for the splendid evening about to follow. Pierce Wang on violin, winner of the First Place Instrumental Award for ages 8-10, performed Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst’s Der Er…

May 2014 Media Nite!

The show with which I celebrated the final day of finals was the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts Media Department's show! Featuring selections of the Media Department's students' work, and starring students from other disciplines, Media Nite has found its way of penetrating itself into the mind of the watchers. It was almost a full house, people arrived to see/hear themselves and their friends in the works of their fellow cinematographers. There was a lot of screaming, cheering, and ruining one's vocal chords.

Attending Media Nite is very much like attending an actual movie theatre, except the show took place in the Dan Kryston Theatre and most of the movies displayed have never been watched before. Each film had something or other that attracted the attention of the watcher. Of course, some films were better than others, but every single film was worth watching and worth remembering.

Films selected for this year's Media Nite had philosophical themes. They were about…

Will You, Won't You, Will You, Won't You, Will You Join The Dance

If you missed the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts Dance Department's show, I don't know how you can compensate your loss other than by going next year. The SOTA Dance Department, presenting the result of their annual work, surprise their audience every year by exhibiting gracious dances revealing the soul of the art.

"There is nothing the body suffers the soul may not profit by." George Meredith (1828-1909) The Egoist
I won't go into detail about all the dances, but instead I will say general remarks about the whole show. The high-energy beat present throughout the whole dance performance and the way the dancers transferred the mood of each dance to the audience made the evening delightful to all. The performance overall was made in a very professional manner, but the soul of a teenager seeped through the seams always present in the professional stage. This part of the performance made it even more enjoyable to watch, allowing the teenagers in the audience - and that…

Classical Delight, With A Basket Full Of Fruit

I figured that a rhetorical question at the beginning of every review wouldn't produce that rhetoric effect we're all looking for when using rhetorical questions...On Saturday, May 10, 2014, (which is the 5th month of the year;) the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts Orchestra presented the orchestra finale, directed by Matthew Cmiel. The theme of this significant evening was simply "5". As Maestro Cmiel said in between two of the pieces performed, there was no deeper meaning in the "5" except for that he had a few pieces he really wanted to perform and they all happened to be the 5th. Well, why not make all the pieces on the program the 5th? Yes, yes. That is about it for the deep history of why the concert was themes "5". 
Moment of Silliness Even before the concert began, people who had come early and were skimming through their program were surprised to discover that on the back of the program, where the names of the musicians playing were listed u…

Perk Up In Your Seat As The Band Begins To Play!

If you didn't come to the Final Band Concert at the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts on Friday, May 9, 2014, then you missed something you didn't want to miss. Directed by chair of the Instrumental department Brad Hogarth, this concert was one of the most memorable ones of the whole school year.

The first three pieces on the program were American Overture by Joseph Wicox Jenkins, Preludio (conducted by french hornist James Ravanal)by Jean Sibelius, and Vesuvius by Frank Ticheli. These three pieces were performed by the wind ensemble. The fact that Sibelius's Preludio was conducted by James Ravanal was very exciting considering the fact that a peer was conducting his peers! 
"It's not easy to get in front of your peers and tell them what to do," said Maestro Hogarth after a long round of exhilarated clapping. 
Visuvius, being about Monte Visuvio,  conveyed that horror and dreadful anticipation of the unknown. The way the percussionists and instrumentalists blended…