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An evening of classical music for a purpose

De Anza holds benefit concert for students to visit Florence, Italy, the Philippines
From+left%2C+Joseph+Gold%2C+violinist%2C+and+Carl+Blake%2C+pianist%2C+play+their+instruments+on+stage+for+students%2C+faculty+and+donors.
Andreina Carnero Ramirez
From left, Joseph Gold, violinist, and Carl Blake, pianist, play their instruments on stage for students, faculty and donors.
La Voz reporters talk to students, faculty and donors for the Study Abroad Benefit concert on Feb. 8.

The Study Abroad Benefit Concert was a gathering for faculty members, donors and students, who form part of the study abroad program, which was held at the Visual Performing Art Center on Feb. 8 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Goers enjoyed an evening of classical music with the performances of the violinist Joseph Gold and the pianist Carl Blake. Selections of Mozart, Beethoven and Paganini were included during the show.

Before the concert started, students and professors involved in the program shared their thoughts with La Voz reporters about the trip that will take place in Florence, Italy and the Philippines in July.

Chesa Caparas, English, literature, women’s studies and Asian American studies instructor, stated the theme of the program which varies per year. 

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The theme is a little different each time. This year, the program is about finding a sense of place. It’s (about) understanding our own place as individuals  in the world and in the context of the relationship between the U.S. and the Philippines, and then also understanding the Philippines as a place in itself and the history between the U.S. and the Philippines,” Caparas said.

Kiana Noorbakhshdamavandi, 20, computer science major, stated how she made the decision to join this program. 

“Last quarter I took an art class and my teachers sent me an email on the last day of class that De Anza is having this program and she suggested that since we’re going to Italy,” Noorbakhshdamavandi said. “It’s a place for art and we were studying art history. It is the perfect place and time to study art history in Florence. It’s a beautiful city with rich culture.”

Noorbakhshdamavandi expects to learn a lot, meet new people, make friends and have fun with people she will meet during her trip to Florence.

Shira Agmon, 20, undecided major, stated the type of experience she will gain from participating in this program. 

“It seemed like a really cool opportunity to be able to go somewhere new like Florence and as well as taking classes on topics, especially  art history, since Florence is such a fundamental part of art history in Europe and just seems like a really cool and interesting learning opportunity, which is different from what I would get anywhere else,” Agmon said. 

Talia Washington, 19, political science major, stated how she is feeling for having the opportunity to travel to Florence. 

“I’m really excited. The last time we had a meeting, it seemed pretty promising. Because our instructors are so excited about it. It makes me more excited,” Washington said.

Being part of the study abroad program has impacted Caparas’s life. 

When I taught study abroad in 2019, it changed my life, and that’s why I keep going back to the Philippines ever since then. That’s why I keep teaching study abroad. I think that those experiences are of so much value. You really get a holistic learning experience,” Caparas said. 

It will be the first time Mae Lee, ethnic studies professor and Asian American studies department chair, teaches for study abroad. She feels excited because it is going to be a new experience for her. 

Karen Chow, English faculty member, said it will be an opportunity for students to have an amazing experience in which they’re learning about the art while they see the art.

Deborah Pasturel, art history professor, stated it’s very significant for students to open up their minds to different cultures and ideas and understand how history still impacts us today.

Caparas hopes the program continues offering the opportunity to study abroad, so students take advantage of it, and even though it can be an expensive program, the kind of education that students can get is priceless. 

People who would like to donate or participate in the Study Abroad 2024 program, which will take place in Florence, Italy, and the Philippines in July, can join through Study Abroad 2024.

Watch the video report above to find out more.

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About the Contributors
Andreina Carnero Ramirez
Andreina Carnero Ramirez, Staff Reporter
Sabrina Kulieva
Sabrina Kulieva, Staff Reporter
Hi, my name is Sabrina. La Voz is a new chapter of my life; I hope it will help me stay more informed about events in the world and maybe even find my place in it.
Nello Puelles
Nello Puelles, Multimedia Editor
Nello would love to direct a news show or podcast and help his community.
Drusilla Ingebrigtsen, Freelance Videographer

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