John Perry performs to benefit the music department at IVC

John Perry performed at IVC last weekend. (Evelyn Caicedo)

Evelyn Caicedo

The music department at Irvine Valley College added a new keyboard director, Susan Boettger, to their staff and for her second piano recital this semester she chose her piano teacher John Perry to perform.

“[Perry] is a world-renowned piano teacher,” said Kaveh Varjoy, 21, linguistics. “He teaches at USC and Colburn, so he is a kind of a big deal.”

Though Perry has not performed in a while he decided to come out to IVC and play at the Performing Arts Center on Jan. 28 at 8 p.m. to help support the music department in a benefit concert.

“[Perry] was my piano teacher since I was 12,” Boettger said. “I am a new teacher here, so I asked him if he could play. It really was a treat for students to be able to see him perform.”

For the first time this year in a piano recital, Perry sold out the 400-seat arena in what Daniel Luzke, theory and composition in the music department, called “a total success.”

Before the performance the viewers lined up for tickets at the box office and settled in their spots. Some audience members were left to sit on stairs due to lack of seats.

At last Perry appeared on stage and the audience clapped in excitement. He modestly walked toward the Steinway & Sons master piano in his all black attire to be seated on the bench.

He calmly adjusted his seat to comfort and gently placed his hand upon the keys. The audience silenced and Perry began to do what he does best.

The modern architecture of the PAC matched with the classical sounds that Perry produced made for a great performance.

“I have never been to the [PAC],” Chase Evans, 20, business, said. “The architecture is stunning and the acoustics in here are amazing.”

For Perry’s first song he played “Arabesque in C major,” which was originally done by Robert Schumann in the 19th century.

Each song lasting up about 30 minutes, Perry played four intricate songs with an intermission after the first two pieces.

“It is a great experience [listening to Perry],” Thomas Vu, 19, accounting, said. “I have been to past piano recitals before but never to a school event one, and not even that but John Perry is playing… he is an amazing pianist.”

The second song, “Fantasie in C,” required swifter movements of his fingers running all along the keyboard making the sounds run high to low and fast and slow.

Perry made each piece an emotional and dramatic music scene for the audience members in which he engaged them all through the melodies that he played.

After a 15-minute intermission Perry bowed and got straight into his next two pieces, both my Chopin. The first piece was titled “Mazurkas” and the second and last piece was “Sonata No. 3 in B minor.”

“Perry is a very important figure in the piano world, so we are delighted to have him perform in this series,” Luzke said.

The concert’s benefits go toward the music department expenses, such as keeping the pianos tuned and to help the music students get the best music education experience at IVC.