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Showing posts from October, 2014

Less Is More: Chamber Music Concert

It is now time for the Chamber Music Fall Recital, directed by Ava Soifer. The Asawa SOTA Chamber Music program is a collaboration of the Piano, Orchestra, and Band Departments. Special thanks to artists in residence Victoria Ehrlich, Matt Cmiel, and Scott Cmiel.

Trio Op. 63 Allegro Moderato by Carl Maria Von Weber was performed by flautist Hansen Wu, cellist Elizabeth Jones, and pianist Rubina Mazurka. In this piece, there was an obvious dialogue between the instruments. Performers Mr. Wu and Ms. Jones produced an effect of two people having a conversation through their instruments.

Fairy Tales Op. 132 I. Lebhaft nicht zu schnell and II. Lebhaft und sehr markiert by Robert Schumann was performed by violinist Joan Shalit, violist Sydney Van Buren, and pianist Jeremy Rosenstock. In the whole piece, which is dedicated to the German violinist and conductor Wilhelm Joseph von Wasielewski, there are four movements, each one depicting an event or character from a certain fairytale. In the fi…

The Divine Feminine: SOTA Vocal and Piano Departments

October 10 and 11 were two spectacular nights of wonderful music by female composers. These two concerts were collaborations of the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts Piano and Vocal Departments.

Vocal Director: Todd Wedge
Artists in Residence:
Leilani Dibble (Musical Theater, Ballet), Angela Doctor (Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Director, Vocal Jazz, Vocal Coach), Katie Gielniak (Musical Theatre, Dance & Acting), E.E. "Chip" Grant IV (Vocal Coach), Kristen Grzeca (Student Teacher, Women's Ensemble, Director, Music History, AP Music Theory, Lyric Diction), Rhsolyn Jones (Vocal Coach, Aural Skills, Acting for Singers), Melecio Magdaluyo (Vocal Jazz Coach, Jazz Theory and Arranging), Ava Soifer (Vocal Coach, Music Theory,  Accompanist, Director, Asawa SOTA Piano), Erika Weil (Musical Theater, Vocal Coach), Kelsey Walsh (Piano for Singers, Music Theory), and Jace Wittig (Vocal Coach, Music Theory).

The Divine Feminine revolved around works by female composers. I bet you have often h…

Come Together: SOTA Instrumental Music Department

On October 5, 2014, the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts presented the Come Together recital, including World Music, Orchestra, Guitar, and Band departments.

Maracatu Samba, arranged by Pedro Gomez, was performed by the World Music Department under the direction of Monina Sen Cervone. I really enjoyed this piece, but I felt like not everybody had high-energy on stage. Most people were getting into it, but I noticed some who were kind of slacking off. Nonetheless, this performance was exotic and attractive in its nature. It didn't only warm-up the stage, it brought the stage up to boiling point.

Orchestra Director Matthew Cmiel comes on stage and turns to the audience. He says a few words, then turns behind him where his orchestra kids should be setting up.

"Remember how I said I wanted this transition to be quick? This is what I meant!"
A few students crawl on stage while Maestro Cmiel continues talking.

Autumn, from The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi, was next, performed by…

When The Masked Ball Goes Wrong: Un Ballo In Maschera at the SF Opera

This performance of Verdi's political opera Un Ballo In Maschera on October 4, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. was one of the best performances I experienced at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House. The cast worked well together and the music just seemed to flow from the heart.

Dolora Zajick, performing the cameo and prominent role of Ulrica, was splendid in her acting as well as singing. The audience was enraptured by Ulrica's spell. The only thing I didn't like was that I thought that her costume should have been darker than it was. Maybe the whole scene should have been a little bit darker than it was.

Christian Van Horn and Scott Conner, performing the roles of Sam and Tom, were extremely charismatic in their enthusiastic interpretation of the roles. The audience soon found themselves rooting for Sam n' Tom despite their antagonistic characters, and I personally was relieved when they didn't get caught.

Heidi Stober, performing the role of the young Oscar, was in a go…