IVC Orchestra Benefit Concert mimics styles of the musical masters with utter grace

Kseny Boklan

Irvine Valley College held its Instrumental Music Area Endowment Benefit Concert on Friday. It was a night full of passion, talent and comfort, as students performed with their instructors contemporary and classical pieces that rang true to their personal styles. 

The show opened with “J.F.K. Commemorative Fanfare,” an intense and thought-provoking piece by Andread Makris, honoring the 25th Anniversary of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. Followed by a lighter composition, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, “Symphony No. 13 in F major, K. 112.”

“It was my favorite pieces, very happy and chill,” said Sabrina Wu, 25, business. “I can picture dancing during the Allegro section.” 

The ingenious composition truly brought out the mastery that is the orchestra: a complex machine of music. It was only superseded by Linda Leyrer’s vocals as she joined the group for “Nocturne” by Gian Carlo Menotti. 

After evoking the crafts of the musical masters,  novice student, Jung Won Edward Park gave a world premiere performance of his “Dream for Bb Clarinet and Piano ” piece.  The three-part composition was a sweet start on a road to expressing the soul. 

“The talent on that stage left a memorable impression with each section of the program,” said Virginia Slaven, 73, retired. 

The most extraordinary and captivating performance came from a pipa trio: Jun Sheng Wu, Chun Yen Ashley Wu and Ngai Wan Yeung. As their fingers quickly stroked through the strings on the pipa the “Spring to Yi River” by Hui Ran Wang, arranged by Jun Sheng Wu, came to life, overpowering the imagination of the audience.  

“I liked the pipa. It was unique” Sean Dashefsky, 31, said. “I liked the sound and watching them work their magic with their hands.”

Stephen M. Rochford, who is also the conductor of the orchestra, did a great job informing the guests about the performers, and the music they were playing, as well as channeling the composers.

The show came to a fitting close with a performance of “Three Rags,” specifically “The Entertainer” by Scott Joplin. “It is a famous piece,” Theodore Le, 21, nursing, said. It seemed to be the crowd favorite, proving that ending on a familiar note is a recipe for success.

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