The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

Singers and musicians rock the Spring quarter concert

Show goers raise their cell phone flashlights and dance to student bands
Xitlaly Martinez
Chorale singers perform with Ilan Glassman on the piano at the VPAC on June 15.

Nearly 200 De Anza students and community members were swooning in their seats on Saturday, June 15 at the Visual & Performing Arts Center, listening to mostly contemporary compositions by musicians and singers of the Creative Arts Division and Music Department.

Grace Lai, professor and conductor, strode in from stage left promptly at 7:30 p.m. and as soon as her outstretched arms flicked, the chamber orchestra began with “Symphony No. 25 Allegro con brio” by Mozart. As an observer, it felt as if the audience in the auditorium was witnessing gladiators charging in war instead of focused musicians.

The program explained the selection of the night’s music as well as the movies they were featured in. “Amadeus” is an 80s film of Mozart’s life, hence the Symphony No. 25.

The chamber orchestra continued with highlights from “La La Land,” “Spirited Away” and music from “Wicked.” Kwan Pok Brian Tam performed a beautiful and bouncy piccolo solo in the music from “How to Train your Dragon.”

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After the five compositions, a short intermission held a performance of its own, not from musicians, but of the audience and their chatter. The lights turned on and smiling family and friends found one another, glad to be united in the auditorium for the performance by their mutual loved ones.

In the audience, visiting from Idaho were approximately ten family and friends of Frank Grengo, a member of Vintage Singers and Chorale. Twenty years prior, Grengo had enrolled at De Anza College for realty and massage courses; there, he met the mother of a current student and singer, who encouraged him to join.

Chorale performs “The Best of Times” by Styx with descant group of singers at the VPAC on June 15. (Xitlaly Martinez)

Once everyone was seated and the lights dimmed, Ilan Glasman, the conductor, took the stage to give a warm welcome and introduce the Vintage Singers. He announced that there would be a dance party after the end of the concert.

“Of nearly 300 hundred concerts here at De Anza,” said Glasman after the show. “I’ve been teaching for 29 years, I’ve never done anything like this.”

Before the dance party Glasman alluded to began, the audience enjoyed listening to many more songs.

The namesake of the night’s event: “Come to the Auction!” unveils when the Vintage Singers perform “Auction Cries,” a John Briggs composition. The singers become auctioneers, singing a mile a minute, complicating quick syllables in a mixture of pitches that dizzied the audience.

Chorale singers perform at the VPAC on June 15. (Xitlaly Martinez)

The Vintage Singers eased in with the upbeat acapella “I Can See Clearly Now,” impressing the audience by holding an incredibly long note. The night mellowed down with somber notes of “That Lonesome Road,” composed by James Taylor and Don Grolnick.

Smaller groups of five to nine singers continued the show with romantic and peaceful songs such as “And So It Goes” by Billy Joel, the cowboy song “Colorado Trail” and “Kiss From a Rose” by Seal.

Miransh Das, 18, computer engineering major, and Xingyuan Vuong, music major, said both Chorale and Vintage Singers liked the songs they performed in the smaller groups.

“We recommended songs to Ilan Glasman,” said Das. “Or Big G, as we like to call him.”

Das and Vuong are determined and enthusiastic to continue singing in the choir next year.

The award-winning Vocal Flight performed two songs, “The Grass Grows Greener” by Anders Edenroth and “What Was I Made For” by Billie Eilish.

Audience turns on camera flash in tribute to student band Silk Road at the VPAC on June 15. (Xitlaly Martinez)

Margaret Gardella, 18, who is a high school student, sang in a higher pitch in “What was I Made For” and has been performing with De Anza’s Music Department for six quarters. She is also concertmaster, Chorale and Vintage Singers vocalist.

“We do vocal jazz (in Vocal Flight) and that is literally the hardest music I’ve had to learn,” said Gardella. “I usually have to practice at least half-an-hour if not an hour every day to learn the music.”

The penultimate performance was the joint talents of Chorale, Silk Road, a student band, and Glasman playing piano for six songs from “Rent,” the rock musical by Jonathan Larson. Several soloists stepped away from the Chorale and audiences cheered and clapped in rhythm to the tune of rock.

Amara Lin, 19, psychology and music major and Alana Lin share vocals during dance party at the VPAC on June 15. (Xitlaly Martinez)

Then began the dance party.

Amara Lin, 20, music and psychology major, descended from the Chorale to join her band. Slowly at first, then all at once, the audience crowded the aisles, jumped, stomped and danced.

“De Anza always treats us well,” said Lin. “It’s nice to see the support within the music community, and to invite others and let them know there’s something to be a part of.”

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Xitlaly Martinez
Xitlaly Martinez, Staff Reporter

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