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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 the Orchestra Department. Shaleah Feinstein, Anna Chen, and Joan Shalit soloed. Ms. Feinstein, performing the Allegro, intrigued the audience with the mood she set and the way she portrayed the character of the piece. Ms. Chen, performing the Adagio Molto, let the audience bathe in a stream of her beautiful tone and sweet melodious performance. Ms. Shalit, performing the Allegro, was stunning at setting an inner pulse which the audience appreciated.


The Guitar Department, directed by Scott Cmiel, were very entertaining and had a wide variety of pieces they performed. Always and Forever by Rod Temperton, performed by vocalists Tyler Culbreath and Britney Santo (World Music) and the rest of the sophomore guitar class, was contrasted with George Philipp Telemann's Concerto in D which followed. 

Band Director Brad Hogarth turns to the audience and asks for some donations, explaining that the department really doesn't have anything nice, like enough music stands. Then, Maestro Hogarth cues the cymbalist, Evan Jeing, but he does not do it loud enough. They do this a couple of times until the Mr. Jeing dropped the cymbals and knocked a nearby stand over. 

"This is why we can't have nice things!" 

Grand Serenade For An Awful Lot Of Winds And Percussion by P.D.Q. Bach, the mysterious ghost guy whose dates are 1807-1742, was the finale of the evening. This piece involved a lot of different sound making coming not only from the instruments but from the students themselves. Squealing and growling noises came from the back, and sometimes the percussionists would let out a growl. It was actually quite entertaining. . . and funny! 


  1. Hello Rubina Mazurk. I am so glad to know you through your profile on the blogger. I am also glad to stop by your blog " The Freaka Diva" and the post on it ". Though I like a clissical Music but it is an Indian. This gives me an opportunity to invite you to come to Mumbai, India to get to know Indian Classical music as well as work with us in the slums of Mumbai amongst poorest of poor to bring healing to the broken hearted with the love of Christ. I am sure it iwll be a life changing experience for you. I am in the Pastoral ministry for last 35yrs in the great city of Mumbai a city with great contrast where richest of rich and the pooreset of poor live. We reach out to the poorest of poor with the love of Christ to bring healing to the broken hearted. We also encourage youing people as wlel as adults from the West to come to Mumbai on a short / long term missions trip to work with us during their vacation time. My email id is : dhwankhee(at)gmail(dot)com and my name is Diwakar Wankhede. Looking forward to hear from you very soon. God's richest blessings on you.


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