Competition winners to perform with Orchestra


Adnan Ramic

Justin Vaughn practices vocals from the piece “Dalla Sua Pace” by Mozart with Ralph Hughes playing on the piano.

John Ferrannini and John Ferrannini

The American River College orchestra will be performing with the winners of the third annual Concerto-Aria Competition tonight and on the 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the ARC theater.

The competition – held in October – was for any student who wanted to perform a solo. The students competing to perform with the orchestra were judged by a panel of music faculty.

“It is a varied and interesting program – a very fun evening,” professor and Director of Orchestras Steven Thompson said. “The Concerto-Aria nights are a highlight of our season. I am always amazed at the incredible talent we have at American River College.”

“A concerto is a piece of music that is generally in three parts, or movements.  An aria is a solo for a singer that is often from an opera. We have four students who are singing arias with the orchestra. There are three pianists playing famous movements from concertos,” Thompson added.

The students who will be performing include Elena Yanovskiy, pianist; Wei-Shan Sun, flutist; Ardalan Gharachorloo, violinist; Mohammad Hassanin, composer; and Tanya Berezkina and Justin Vaughn, vocalists.

The orchestra will perform four works by Mozart, in addition to works by Bach and Verdi. The Mozart compositions are “Dalla sua pace,” from Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” “Deh vieni non tardar,” from Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro,” “E amore un ladroncello,” from Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutte” and “Piano Concerto #23” in A major, second movement.

“I have been playing piano for 12 years, two of which I spent studying here at ARC,” Yanovskiy said. “I chose the ‘Bach Concerto in D Minor’ to audition with because I heard my instructor perform it a year ago and I fell in love with it. I thought it would be an amazing experience to be able to perform it with an orchestra.”

Vaughn sings with the Sacramento Master Singers, and has been involved with various choirs for the past 15 years. He has been taking lessons with his voice teachers to practice for his performances.

“It’s really fun to perform with the orchestra and that’s a nice opportunity that the campus provides and the orchestra provides to young singers and players,” Vaughn said. “It means a lot that they chose the people they did. The competition was really high this year and they chose a smaller number of people than they did in past years.”

Hassanin moved to the U.S. from Iran five years ago to study music and to escape religious persecution. He is playing a piece that originates from his native land, singing a Farsi poem.

“This is the third time that the orchestra is going to play my piece,” he said. “My piece is a mix of (traditional Persian) and (traditional worldwide) music that many of (the) performers in the orchestra consider an interesting and fun piece.”

Ultimately, professor Thompson believes that the orchestra will have a successful evening.

“We are very fortunate to have a rich history of fine music directors and students who have come through the program,” he said.

Admission to the concert is $10.