The American dream as we know it is more and more becoming just that, a dream, but there is one individual at American River College who shows that it just may still be alive.
Mohammad Assani is a music composition major at ARC. He hails from Iran, and moved to the U.S. four years ago to escape religious persecution, and to study music.
“I was investigating about a good music department,” explains Assani, “which is why I came to Sacramento.”
For Assani music is much more than just his passion, it is his livelihood. Since he was 16, he has been performing music professionally as a singer and trumpet player, even taking a master class in Armenia for trumpet.
“To be honest, I’m not sure what my profession in music is,” Assani said. “I sing professionally in foreign language. I have over 60 recordings and compositions made in Iran, Turkey, and the U.S.”
Assani is a prominent figure in the Persian music community, having been featured on TV and radio in Iran and the U.S., and even being featured in Iranian E Sacramento, a Persian music magazine. He will be singing this month for the Persian community in Santa Monica.
What led him to conducting was a unique opportunity presented to him from ARC professor Susan Hamre.
“[She] handed me the baton and [gave] me that chance,” says Assani. “She was the one that asked me if I would like to conduct for a concert.”
His fellow music students also note his hard work and dedication to his craft.
“I think his compositions really show his dedication,” said ARC trombone player Seamus Smith. “He [also] has a great vibe. Everyone enjoys working with him.”
Currently, Assani is a trumpet player for the U.S. Bethany Church.
In March, Assani will be conducting the ARC band in a competition, playing an original composition that he is currently writing.
“The ARC Orchestra will perform with a Persian singer, as well as English, Arabic, and Turkish, promoting unity and peace in the world,” said Assani.