By Kristen Lauletti
Family members and peers gathered in Mayo Concert Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 26, for the Embracing Student Achievement recital series.
The voices of Russell Teller and soprano Lauren Critelli began the show on a high note, as they grabbed the audience’s attention for what would be an overall impressive display of talent.
Next came the unique blending of Ryan Wickham on double bass with Bronson Manley on the piano.
Then, Nicholas Licitra, on the tuba, played a steady, mesmerizing piece called “Fantasy for Tuba,” composed by Malcolm Arnold.
A crowd favorite was junior music education major, Manuel Martinez, who belted out Takashi Yoshimatsu’s “Fuzzy Bird Sonata I. Run, Bird” on his alto saxophone.
“I loved how the different sounds of the saxophone seemed to symbolize different movements of the bird,” said junior music education major Diana Befi, who was supporting her peer from the audience.
Martinez explained the significance of the song he played and what made it stand out for him.
“I remember listening to the song my freshman year and being drawn to the free character of the piece, which resembles a bird,” Martinez said. “Also, it presents this cross-over style of mixing elements of jazz and classical music — which is great, as I love all kinds of music. It’s truly wonderful for styles that people see as opposites to go hand-in-hand.”
After the primarily upbeat performance by Martinez came Eric Vanderzee, who effortlessly strummed his guitar to the soft tune of “Sons de Carrillhões (Maxixe-Chôro).”
Closing the show was pianist Joanna Ju, who didn’t waste time in showing the audience she is not a novice. She dazzled listeners with Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Sonata in C-Sharp Minor” as her nimble fingers grazed the keys artfully.
The recital displayed talents on a diverse range of musical mediums, and after watching the performances, it’s difficult to believe these men and women are only in college.
“Mainly, what I enjoy about performing for my peers and faculty members is the fact that they kind of witness the journey I have taken as a musician, as well as the support I receive from them,” Martinez said.