Sophomore musicians impressive

A small mixture of students, family members and staff gathered inside the Recital Hall Nov. 14 to attend the Sophomore Recital presented by the LMC Music Department. Pink programs were passed out at the doors while performer Miguel Reyes walked around and greeted familiar faces prior to the beginning of the show.
As the show began, Kadesta Prothro emerged to greet the audience and introduce the first performers including bassist and pianist Tim Combs, lead guitarist Ben Martinez, saxophone player Elijah Walker, trumpeter Robert Ruiz and the first main performer, percussionist Aaron Charles.
The ensemble opened with “Brazil” composed by Ary Barroso Ruiz showed enthusiasm and his fellow musicians showed no nervousness. In the second piece, “Speak No Evil,” written by Jazz composer Wayne Shorter, the musicians played with ease and Charles’ talent became apparent.
During the first two numbers, most of the audience seemed interested in what was taking place. There were a few people who seemed a bit uninterested but when the musicians stated playing “Chameleon,” originally written by renowned composer Herbie Hancock, the musicians grabbed the attention of every attendee. People began tapping their feet and nodding their heads along to the beat.
Everything about this piece’s performance was impressive. The musical ensemble looked the most comfortable during this song. The opening bass line as well as the impressive drum solo stood out the most. After their performance was over, the first round of performers grinned at each other, stood and took a bow, earning cheers and appreciative noises from the audience.
After a brief intermission, Prothro came back out to introduce the second round of performers, including percussionists Anthony Adams and Jessica Motta, guitarists Josh Wood and Ben Martinez, Combs on the piano and second spotlighted performer, Miguel Reyes.
Reyes smiled a bit nervously as the opening chords of “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz began. Despite the slightly bored expression on the tambourine players face, it was a pleasant rendition of the song. Reyes stood in the center, somewhat stiffly but he sang with confidence. Wood joined the ensemble on guitar and Combs joined on piano for the second performance of alternative rock band Switchfoot’s “Only Hope.” This performance was stronger, and although it appeared that musicians seemed to only pay attention to their own task. Toward the end of the song the ensemble came together and their instruments blended beautifully.
The third number, “Panis Angelicus,” had Reyes performing with just piano accompaniment. Reyes’ voice got deeper and stronger and he sang with more confidence. The next song he performed was traditional Neapolitan song, “Santa Lucia.”  This number was also mellow ­­— much like the last one.
The last song of the night, “Ave Maria,” which Reyes dedicated to his grandparents, garnered sympathetic noises from the audience. The piano playing was consistent. At some point, a little girl in the audience began dancing and though the arrangement was melancholy, it was nice way to end the evening. Combs and Reyes bowed, and the recital ended on a humorous note. Also, there were special thanks given to the people who helped set up and to Instructor Jonathan Knight.
Later, people were herded into the recording arts hall for refreshments. Attendees of the concert chatted about upcoming events. Overall, most of the songs were mellow but pleasant. Though Reyes’ voice was a tad drowned out, the instrumentation for “Only Hope” was beautiful, and the musicians played their instruments with ease. Reyes’ and Combs rendition of “Santa Lucia” added a nice touch to the evening. “Chameleon” was clearly one of the standout performances of the night highlighting the talent of not only Charles but the other musicians as well.  Though audience was small, the performers got the respect and applause they deserved.