Spring Serenade showcases students talents

Benjamin Garcia

“I hope more people will come next time,” Director of chorale and vocal studies Anna Demichelle said, “We had a very nice house today and the more these students perform, the better it is for them, so we are going to try to do this once every semester.”

Applied music instructor Rhonda Dillon teaches six of the 12 vocal students showcased on Sunday, March 26 in the Burnight Center to a rather full audience. The performance illustrated what Dillon describes as an “interesting philosophy” in regard to choosing pieces.

“I try to work with my students partly, I chose [the pieces] and partly it’s their choice. […] If they don’t like something that I choose and they bring something in, they can do what they brought in. I see my job as a teacher as sort of a guide.”

Emmanuel Lezameta, music major, said that he simply chose his song because it fit his voice and he liked it.

“I don’t want to be autocratic,” said Dillon, “I’m not a queen, I’m just a teacher.”

Dillon went on to say that if a student brings something in and it’s not right for that student, she tries to figure out what about it is not fitting for her student’s voice and those situations become a teaching experience.

She noted that “Goodnight, My Someone” from Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man was sung at two different times in the concert — by Zuliquey Valdez (mezzo soprano) and Timothy Chen (baritone). She also noted that there was one student who sang mezzo soprano pieces last semester, who now sings soprano.

Nancy Dodd, an applied music major, came in support of her friends in the concert, saying, “I just came for the joy of it and to see people grow like Yulisa Jimenez and Timothy Chen.”

The aforementioned Timothy Chen, whose major is undecided, commented on how he picked his piece; which as Rhonda Dillon says, is sung by a woman in the musical it originates from.

He said, “In all honesty, the concert caught me off guard. It’ something of a simpler piece that is routinely worked on in the voice class.”

Dillon noted the presence of Alphonse Franklin in the audience saying, “He’s more famous than me.”

Alphonse Franklin, the former lead singer of The Miracles was present at the event and commented that Jazlyn Rodriguez singing My Funny Valentine stood out to him and added that he “loved the concert.”

He also advised the applied music students to “keep doing what you’re doing,” which is singing songs that are “great songs if sung the right way,” finishing that they should “hang in there and keep at it.”