Featured singers performed songs from musicals such as “Sweeny Todd,” to classics, including Mozart and Liszt. There were performances in English and a wide variety of foreign languages at the 3rd Annual Jenny Richards Memorial Endowed Vocal Scholarship Benefit Recital.
Saturday night at the Irvine Valley College Performing Arts Center was described by choral director, Matthew Tresler, as a “vocal extravaganza with something for everyone.”
Everyone, including IVC student Tawny Zellner, 17, graphic design, who admitted that although attending the evening concert was something she “wouldn’t normally do,” enjoyed the experience precisely for that reason. Rock and punk genres are more Zellner’s style, but the piano accompanied singers were a refreshing change for the evening.
Zellner’s vocal teacher, Matthew Tresler, who was featured as a tenor in the concert, offered extra credit to students of his who attended the concert. Being in two bands of her own, Zellner is able to expand her knowledge and experience of music even outside of Tresler’s classroom.
Once a student at IVC, Jenny Richards majored in music and sang in the IVC Master Chorale. Richards was a local talent known not only for her singing but also for her composing and guitar abilities. She performed often in the Orange County area and was greatly missed when in 2005 at the age of 46 cancer took her life.
Family members and Richard’s IVC teachers sought it fit to establish a memorial scholarship in her name. The scholarship is in vocal music and is the only vocal scholarship at IVC.
The 2010 recipient of The Jenny Richards Memorial Voice Scholarship, Megan Péo, was featured in the concert as a soprano. Her solo songs “Sure On This Shining Night,” “How Can I Keep From Singing?,” and “Lady of the Harbor” were evidence of her scholarship deserving talents.
The money from the scholarship helped Péo further her musical goals. Voice lessons were at the top of her list when it came to utilizing the scholarship funds. This is her second year at IVC and next year hopes to transfer, but is unsure as to where.
Those who were unable to attend the concert but would like to contribute to the scholarship can send donations of any amount to Irvine Valley College 5500 Irvine Center Drive, CA 92618. Donations should be made out to The Jenny Richards Memorial Voice Scholarship Fund. Richards’s parents, Amy and Rusty Richards are welcoming of donations stating “It would be greatly appreciated by all of us who love her and appreciate all that she did with her talent!”