Student conductor moves full steam ahead

Mohammad Hassani conducts the ARC Orchestra for the first time in his career. (Photo courtesy of Mohammad Hassani)

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.

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About the Author

Michael Pacheco
Michael Pacheco is a fourth-year student at American River College. This is his third semester writer for The Current. Pacheco is a Journalism major, with plans to transfer to Sacramento State University in the fall. A music coach, he plans on getting into education.

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