May I begin by reminding the reader of how festive a live concert band, notwithstanding the limitations of beginning and intermediate student musicians, can be. However perfect professional orchestras might sound, they can be hard pressed to match the heartfelt energy and enthusiasm of a community or student concert ensemble. Such was the case today at the Cabrillo College Spring Festival of Bands concert.
The varied program, directed by Cabrillo College music instructor Jon Nordgren performed to an equally enthusiastic audience of parents and lovers of band music. Noteworthy were solos by clarinetists Larry Bartholomew and Neil Michelson, trumpet player Warren Necoechea and, in particular, pianist Christina Gasparich, who performed the first movement of the Edvard’s Grieg’s famous and beloved A Minor Piano Concerto. Confident and powerful from the start, Christina maintained an expert command of the piece throughout, excelling in the thunderous octaves, trills and lyrical passages of Grieg’s concluding cadenza. Christina, age 19, was recently accepted for study at the prestigious Thornton Music School at the University of Southern California. We all wish her good fortune in her musical pursuits. Today she got off to a great start.