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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Applied Music Recital showcases both student and faculty talent

Claire Geriak
From left, John Douglass, Kayne Hunter and Ralph Lowi lock in during their performance of “Take The A Train” by Duke Ellington on Feb. 23 at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. Hunter was accompanied by three professors during his recital, who all provide lessons for the applied music program to provide one-on-one mentorship for students.

Excited chatter whirled through Room 101 in the Drama/Music building beginning at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 23. Students and audience members alike patiently waited for the first Applied Music Recital of the spring semester. 

Unlike most classes at City College, this program begins with an audition. Music majors perform a piece of representative music that caters to the instrument and style students hope to study. After successfully passing based on their performance level, members receive private lessons from a music professor of their choice. All applicants must be declared music majors and have passed a Musicianship and Theory Class. 

After rigorous auditions and weekly lessons, students are expected to perform at three recitals per semester. This ensures that they are familiar with public performance and adept with their instrument of choice. 

Retired Professor from City College’s chemistry department, Sally Ghizzoni, kicked off the event with a piano rendition of “Nocturne No.20” by Frederic Chopin. Receiving delighted applause from students and fellow staff, Ghizzoni set the tone for the rest of the afternoon. Thanking the audience, she welcomed the next performer. 

Three more students played, showcasing instruments such as the bass trombone, clarinet, and viola. With City College being the first two-year college in California to initiate a program like this one, music majors are embracing a very rare opportunity to grow their abilities. 

City College student Kayne Hunter has benefited from this program for the last two years. 

“It’s been very humbling doing these lessons,” Hunter said. “Just when you think you know something, you get smacked with a reality check of where your level is really at. These recitals get you comfortable with performing in front of people. And for that, I’m really grateful.” 

Faculty combos were included in the recital as well, where Hunter played guitar alongside faculty, performing “Take the A Train” by Duke Ellington. Ed Smith, conductor of the New World Jazz Ensemble, stepped in, making an appearance on drums.

Applied lessons instructor and Monday Madness Musical Director Andrew Martinez has first-hand experience with talented students. 

“This program is important because it teaches students through experience,” Martinez said. “You cannot get better without experience, trial, and error. These lessons are especially important for music transfer students.”

“Footprints” by Wayne Shorter finished the event with another faculty combo featuring Hayden Lo on drums. City College’s music department offers countless opportunities ranging from audio production, string technique, chamber music, jazz, choir, symphony, concert bands, and many more. 

It’s a great program because this is offered at a four-year university as well,” Martinez said. “Many of the students that come through our program go on to four-year schools like UCLA, USC, CSU Northridge, CSU Long Beach, and CalArts.”

Auditions for the Applied Music Program will be held on the first Friday of the fall and spring semesters. The next Applied music recital will be on March 15, beginning at 12:30 p.m. in the Drama/Music building.

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