Music students strike a note with audience during recital
Guests of the Resurgence of the Renaissance music performance and art display look on as Wilson Junior High School's Itzel Lopez performs Thursday in El Centro. (Eric Miller)
Such was the scene at the “Resurgence of the Renaissance,” a solo and ensemble recital of local school-aged music students, hosted by the El Centro Elementary School District at the Venue on Main Thursday evening in El Centro.
Thirteen Wilson Junior High School students and one Central Union High School student — most of whom are private music students of Wilson music teachers Joseph Kaye and Mitch Sturman — performed various music pieces on clarinet, trumpet, alto saxophone, violin, viola, cello and double bass.
At the same time, a variety of student artwork from Wilson students participating in The Rainforest Art Project were on display during the event.
“We are here to celebrate chamber music, to have a little bit of culture and class and show the wonderful arts programs at Wilson,” Kaye, Wilson’s orchestra director and private teacher, said.
“This format was taken from the Art of Elan, where they have both the visual arts as well as an orchestra concert along with the aspects of a social gathering to make it fun, exciting and something that is a little bit edgy,” ECESD Superintendent Robert Pletka said.
Kaye said providing music students at the junior high school level the opportunity to perform solos and in ensembles “gives them something to aspire to.”
“Giving them the experience to get up and perform is invaluable,” Kaye said, thanking Pletka and the school district for providing the elegant setting.
“I think it brings in a piece that really celebrates and promotes the arts,” Pletka said. “It helps us kind of appreciate it so that more kids will want to be a part of the arts and be musicians.
“In some ways it’s from the validation of their community that artists and students kind of arise and say, ‘This is something I’m interested in doing and want to do,’” he said. “It’s just a great way to really promote arts education in our district.”
Kaye said some of the students have been working on their solo pieces throughout the fall semester, and “are very dedicated and are eager to share what they’ve learned.”
The audience noticed the students’ hard work.
“You can tell they practice by the way they play. They really express themselves,” Calexico resident and trombonist Norman Litz said while in the audience. “It’s very special.”
The students enjoyed performing and watching their peers perform too.
“I messed up on some parts but it went really well,” Angel Lyn Del Valle, a clarinetist who also had artwork on display, said.
“It makes me feel proud of myself,” the 13-year-old eighth-grader said. “I do music and I do art and now that they’re both here it makes me feel good,” she said. “There should be more events like this.”
“It was really fun,” 13-year-old violinist Dahee Choi said.
Staff Writer Roman Flores can be reached at 760-337-3439 or firstname.lastname@example.org