Success of IVC’s 4th annual alumni recital

Angie L. Pineda
The main stage at the Performing Arts Center in Irvine Valley College welcomes back students who’ve once filled the halls with their music, inviting them to perform again Sept. 28, at 8 p.m.
Eight students who studied music within the walls of IVC reunited Friday night honoring the school with their talents that have evolved since they left. Andria Gaskill, Michelle Packman, Edward Park, Mathieu Girardet, Ashley Johnson, Jeff Ramos, and Ross Sellers, and JP Marquez returned to the familiar stage and performed their music pieces to the 400-seat theater.
Although the theater was only 70 percent filled with an audience, the artists still performed enthusiastically.
Opening the performance was Andria Gaskill in her beautiful purple gown and a voice that earned the audiences attention. The soprano singer delighted the listeners with an Emily Dickinson song, “Nature, the Gentlest Mother,” from “Twelve Poems by Emily Dickinson.”
“I am so happy to be able to come back and perform in a theater that is so comfortable to me,” Gaskill commented. “I was first here when the building was being developed, and I was one of the first performers to sing here.”
The 4th Annual Alumni Recital began this musical tradition in 2009 when the new Arts Center was built by Arquitectonica, so the center is still a new, raising IVC artists and letting them go on their way to explore what more may come.
“It’s such a wonderful and warm environment,” [on the IVC theater], “It’s so nice to come back to our teachers who actually care about everything we are doing,” Ashley Johnson said.
Johnson, also a soprano, stood onstage with a deep blue flowing dress, and cheeky mannerisms to fit the song, “Fair Robin I Love” from the opera, “Tartuffe.”
She was accompanied by pianist Dean Erick, who played for every solo and duet. Together they bowed as the audience were entirely grateful to hear Johnson’s outstanding voice.
“Being here today is special to me because it feels like home,” cello player Michelle Packman said. The girls haven’t lost touch since they’ve left IVC.
As Erick and Packman synchronize keys and strings, the audience is silenced. They performed the piece called, “Strubs from What?” composed by artist Edward Park, who after the song had ended, came onstage and bowed.

Packman also performed as a soloist with only her cello, and a projector that emitted art which related to each piece of music from the “Gallery Suite” written by American composer Robert Muczynski.

More talents joined the performance including, clarinet player Mathieu Girardet, Jeff Ramos on Vibraphone, Ross Sellers, and JP Marquez as a jazz combo.
All of these performers either attend CSU Long Beach, CSU Fullerton, or have now entered the arena of musical arts as a vocation.
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