Conductor Dr. Betancourt and the orchestra shine at their concert

Dr. Betancourt successfully pulled off the first fall concert and expressed his appreciation towards his team.
Orchestra playing their instruments during their performance with the conductor leading them.
Orchestra playing their instruments during their performance with the conductor leading them.
Susan Romero

For the first time this semester, the Cerritos College Band and Orchestra had their fall concert on Oct. 27. The concert ran from 7-9 p.m. and was held inside the Performing Arts Center.

The setlist was organized to give the orchestra about an hour of play with a 10-minute intermission and then wrapping up the show with a 40-minute performance from the band.

Conducted by Dr. David Betancourt, the orchestra along with some wind instruments, started the show and played a variety of beautiful pieces including Mozart’s Symphony No. 35 Haffner.

They wrapped up their setlist with Danzas Cubanas, beginning with an upbeat tempo leading to an intriguing trumpet solo followed by a flute solo. The tempo slowed down for a bit but ended the piece at its original pace, giving us an experience in both worlds.

It almost sounded like a track from The Incredibles movie and the crowd appreciated the piece.

After the intermission, the band began setting up their instruments to tune up together. Even though it was just them tuning their instruments, it already sounded really interesting to hear them in unison.

The band played pieces like Salvation Is Created, as well as upbeat pieces like Albanian Dance and Dancing Fire. They did not disappoint.

The hard work and dedication to perfect each piece is shown in every single one they performed up until the very end. Betancourt also agrees.

Betancourt has been conducting since 1991 but has been conducting at Cerritos College for 24 years.

“I thought they did fantastically,” he said after the show, “one of the most gratifying things is to watch how much work we put into it up to tonight and then to watch them peak tonight… like they played the best they’ve played tonight.”

And when asked if he had a favorite piece he said, “You’re asking a really hard question because I picked the program… I spend so much of my time as an instructor and conductor and if I don’t like the piece I shouldn’t be picking it for them.”

Simply by the way he spoke of his band and orchestra, you can tell he and the team have a really good dynamic to be able to work on this show so well. Some players played in both the orchestra and band but others played more than one instrument.

Rogelio Acosta, one of the trumpet players who played for both the band and orchestra, has also been playing the trumpet for 8 years.

He expressed his opinions on his favorite piece of the night, “Salvation is created, it’s just a really beautiful piece and I think it encapsulates our musicianship as a group.”

You know the show turned out well when both the conductor and artists complimented each other as they played and even after the show. The chemistry was undeniable.

Stephanie Herrera was one of the few who played two instruments throughout the show, the piccolo and flute, fascinating the crowd without even trying.

During the Albanian dances, her years of experience beamed through as she played the piccolo solo.

She expressed the amount of work every player had to put in to have a successful night, “Some pieces in like a week you’ll sort of pick it up. Some of them require that extra work, putting in extra time by yourself because 3 hours once a week is not enough especially when you’re not working one on one.”

They promptly got started on the very first day of the semester and they kept showing up for 3-hour practices once a week. Although it seemed like such a short amount of time, the work and effort were there and it was appreciated by the crowd the entire night. It’s nice to know that some are passionate about what they do and they undoubtedly did that.

Betancourt gave a friendly reminder at the end of their show that he encourages those who want to pursue anything in music to contact him.

“Those who are thinking about a career in music, I’d hate to see them think about a career but not even pursue it simply because they didn’t have an instrument,” said Betancourt, “Anything they want to join, the jazz band, band, the orchestra, or just get involved, they can contact me at [email protected].”

If interested in joining be sure to email Betancourt, but also be sure to save the date for their next concert which will take place on Dec. 15.

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About the Contributor
Susan Romero
Susan Romero, Opinion Editor
Susan Romero is the Opinion Editor for this spring season, spreading the voices of the people in Cerritos College. Outside of the newsroom, she really enjoys reading books, listening to music and spending time with loved ones. Romero plans to transfer to Cal State Fullerton and hopes to work in GQ in the future.
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