“Do You Hear What I Hear?” Lecture and Piano Concert Series

Gonzalo Saucedo


Students and aspiring musicians alike were treated to a music history lesson coupled with demonstrative performances when they attended the first event in the “Do You Hear What I Hear?” Lecture and Piano Concert Series on Friday Morning.

Room BC-51 in the Music Department was filled to capacity as participants were eager to learn about this event’s primary subject matter, the works of Joaquin Turina, an early 20th century Spanish composer.

Dr. Christine Lopez, the series’s director, said about Turina, “He was a very fine pianist and actually was very well known in Spain.”

Dr. Lopez is the Director of the Applied Music Program and the coordinator of the Keyboard Studies program here at Cerritos College.

The purpose of the Lecture and Piano Concert Series as a whole, according to Lopez, is to expose learners to the history and musical elements surrounding various culturally important composers of the past, particularly pianists.

“A good representation of himself is left behind for us to continue to discover,” she said when explaining why Turina was one of the pianists she had chosen to expound on for the series.

She began the event with a lecture and presentation educating students about Turina, other associated Spanish composers of his time, their influences upon music today, and the concepts that had once influenced them.

The additional concepts that were expanded upon in Lopez’s presentation included, but were not limited to, the composers’ music styles and prominent artistic movements of the period, such as nationalism and impressionism.

This particular proceeding also introduced observers to the craft of chamber pianists, who unlike solo pianists, integrate the incorporation of other musicians in their presentations, which went hand-in-hand with Joaquin Turina’s musical styles.

The latter half of the event consisted of Dr. Lopez, along with other top musicians from our area, performing a handful of Turin’s pieces in front of the audience.

The musicians included Dr. Lopez playing piano, Rhonda Dillon, a soprano singer,Tammy Tsai on violin, Nikki Shorts playing the viola, and  Manon Robertshaw on the cello.

The crowd gazed in awe as the music they had just learned about was being sang and played by the ensemble.

Rhonda Dillon was one of the first to perfrom.  She is on the voice faculties of several colleges including Cerritos, and the current director of the Community Chorus.

When asked about the importance of the lecture and concert, Dillon said, “This forum is unique in the sense that you’ve involved singing, piano playing, and instrumental playing.  I don’t know of any of the universities in our area that do that.

“By targeting  one composer, and on the elements that he uses, it really brings it into focus,” she said.

Monica Roman, an undecided major at Cerritos, was one of the people in the audience on Friday.  “I had never seen music like that be played live, and they played it so masterfully.  It was truly inspiring,” she said after the event.

The “Do You Hear What I Hear?” Lecture and Piano Concert Series is free to attend and continues on Oct. 22 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in room BC-51.