Ten American River College musicians perform as concerto-aria winners


Matthew Wilke

Anna Lyubezhanina on violin performed during the ARC orchestra - coordinated by Steven Thompson last Friday and Saturday night.

Cheyenne Drury and Cheyenne Drury

The concerto-aria competition winners, all American River College students, performed with the ARC orchestra in the main theater on March 13 and 14 at 7:30p.m.

There were ten featured students, the winners, in the orchestra performance including Arend Aldama on piano, Ardalan Gharachorioo on violin, Anna Lyubezhanina on violin, Barchinoy Karamatova on piano, Victoria Itskan a mezo-soprano singer, Wei-Shan Sun on flute, Irina Lomova a soprano singer, Joanna Dzik on violin, Effren Fuentes on piccolo and Katherine McLain on horn.

The director of the orchestra and professor for introduction to music, basic musicianship and applied music coordinator, Steven Thompson, spoke before the performance.

“Students auctioned for a chance to play in the orchestra in October.” Thompson said.

All of the students who passed the audition in October were the concerto-aria competition winners and performed both nights.

The students performed ten pieces taken from the original composers, such as W.A. Mozart, Handel, Vilvaldi, Moore, Mendelssohn, Beethoven and Grieg.

Thompson gave the crowd some insight into the roles of the musicians on stage.

“The concertmaster is the first chair violinist. She’s the leader of the orchestra,” said Thompson. “After she comes out on stage the pitch orchestra will tune to ‘A’ pitch and then the conductor will come out and everyone will applaud wildly for the conductor,” joked Thompson.

The first six pieces were performed in succession and then a break for intermission was taken, after which the last four pieces were performed.

ARC student and music major Efren Fuentes was the fourth musician to perform his piece with the piccolo.

“I have been playing the flute for two years now but I’ve been playing music for the last six years,” Fuentes said.

When asked about his future endeavors the piccolo player said that he planned transfer to the University of the Pacific in the fall.

Music major Arend Aldama played the piano alongside the orchestra and described the experience as being nice.

“I have been practicing this piece since January and I practiced as much as I could,” said Aldama.

Aldama is in her third semester at ARC and is still undecided where she would like to transfer to but plans on continuing her music career.

Check out our photo gallery of the orchestra performance here.