Letter to the Editor: Guitarists worked hard

David Betancourt

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This e-mail is in response to the article written by Mr. Rangel in the March 25 arts section of the Talon Marks. I hope it can be printed in its entirety in the next release cycle.

It is important to bring an additional perspective to the public with regard to the Guitar Festival that was recently presented by the Cerritos College Music Department.

I witnessed first-hand the hours of planning and rehearsing that one of our talented and dedicated part-time faculty members put into organizing the event.

Dr. Mello held extra rehearsals, coordinated with area colleges and oversaw every aspect of the festival.

He did all of this for the good of the students, the department and the college, not receiving compensation for his time and expertise.

The students were inspired to rehearse afternoons and evenings in student led gatherings.

There was an incredible amount of excitement and energy leading up to the festival day.

The festival itself was an all-day affair.

Two master classes were presented by expert performers and educators.

Both classes were well attended and it was obvious that the participants enjoyed the sessions by the way they responded and interacted with the performers.

The afternoon session included a panel of speakers who’s combined experience was impressive.

Professional performers, educators, music therapists, and music business associates were on hand to give their insight as well as answer student questions.

The success of this session became evident when Mello realized that the session had over extended the time allotted by 30 minutes. The students did not want to leave.

The evening concert was equally successful. The program clearly indicated the type of music that would be performed.

There were many wonderfully musical moments and the students of Cerritos College should be proud to boast, not one, but two outstanding guitar ensembles with many talented musicians.

With regard to some of Mr. Rangel’s comments in the article, I feel it is important to clarify a few points.

First, “Theratre” can be spelled two ways; theater or theatre, but never as printed.

Second, “the Tango” is not a legend. The Tango is a style of music. For that matter, Bach is not a legend either.

Johan Sebastian Bach is a well-established historical music figure whose contributions are well-documented.

Third, the classical guitar has been around much longer than the classical orchestra.

Fourth, “orchrestra” is spelled orchestra.

Fifth, a “composer” does not “guide them through the song”. A conductor “guides” performers.

Sixth, it is important, when giving general comments about students not having any talent, that you are able to give evidence of credence to your opinions (please read the first five points listed above).

It is this last point that has me most concerned.

The faculty, staff, and students in the music department are well aware of the talent that is evident every time we have a performance.

It is disheartening for all of us when an article such as Mr. Rangel’s is published without evidence of scrutiny or integrity of journalistic practices.

I was disappointed.

Finally, I was comforted in reading that Mr. Rangle did learn something from the experience.

As he stated in his opening paragraphs, “Guitars are more than just for heavy shreading. Well at least now I know that after watching the Cerritos College First Annual Guitar Festival . . . ” Mr. Rangle, welcome to another wonderful side of music.

One more point; “shreading” is spelled shredding.

– David Betancourt, Music Department Chair