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Friday, August 7, 2020

Thursday afternoon concert series wrapped up

The sounds of piano keys, drums, saxophones and flutes filled the Performing Arts Building as the audience sat back and enjoyed the music.

This season’s curtains have closed on the Thursday afternoon concert series. The final performance featured the Applied Music Program students.

James Bergman, adjunct music professor, was in charge of promoting the afternoon concert series during the semester.

“We’ve been having these for about 30 years and we’ll have another concert in the fall,” Bergman said. “It keeps rolling.”

Bergman said students who transfer from Pierce tell their friends about the AMP and compare it to other music programs they attend.

“Some of them surprised me,” Bergman said. “Some of them will be moving on, but they still come back to join the workshops, which is great.”

AMP gives students the opportunity to get private lessons on an instrument of their choice throughout the semester.

Pianist Sophia Cho thought the concert series went really well this semester and said she was well prepared for the final performance with the help of the faculty in AMP.

“It took a lot of work to put all of this together,” Cho said. “Of course, there’s a lot of room for improvement, but we all worked really hard.”

Ross Montor has been playing the drums for seven years and joined the AMP and is looking forward to transferring to CSUN in the future.

“Each one of these AMP students are amazing musicians,” Montor said. “We all got our private instructors and we’ve practicing very hard to look forward to concerts like this one.”

Instructor of Music Garineh Avakian-Akkus said she thought the concert went great and that everyone really enjoyed themselves.

“The students really kept their composure, their stamina and their energy level,” Avakian-Akkus said. “They all stepped up and they all progressed throughout the semester.”

Avakian-Akkus said she was proud to see all the collaboration the students had with each other and their instructors.

“This class was about 7 or 8 people in the past, now it’s like 30 people, and we have a lot more musicians, a lot more variety of instrumentalist that are taking the class, so our opportunities are more,” Avakian-Akkus said.

Andrew Shousha played the saxophone and said he learned a lot by being a part of the AMP and is looking forward next semester concert series.

“We have a really good opportunity in this school to have some really good professors who put this all together and we get really good exposure,” Shousha said. “This is kind of a culmination of a myriad of different styles and I think that’s the beauty of it. It’s the students playing, not professionals.”

Shousha has been practicing the saxophone for 7 years, but has been playing music for 15 years.

“Some jazz is hard for people to listen to, but these concerts are an opportunity to discover music you didn’t like,” Shousha said.

The final song for the night was “It don’t mean a thing,” performed by the entire staff and arranged by David Kamenir.

Avakian-Akkus said they will be starting auditions for the AMP in the beginning of the fall semester.

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