Music concert series brings harpist to enlighten listeners and open ears

Silence rang throughout the main stage of the Performing Arts Building 3500 lasting but a few moments as the graceful tones of the harp captured the ears of listeners.  

“I think that music came about to express what people maybe can’t express in words which depending on the person comes out in a lot of different ways,” harpist Tasha Smith Godinez said.

On Thursday April 22, Godinez came to perform for Pierce College as part of the Music Department’s Concert Series.  Godinez played three pieces for the audience from 12:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.

Godinez, born and raised in San Diego, began with “In the Village of Hope” composed by Michael Bryon b. 1953, then performing “Postales del Alma” composed by Andres Martin, and finishing with a five minute two piece called “Sea Scapes” composed by Gardner Read.

“It’s a 27 minute perpetual motion, it keeps going and going,” Godinez said.  “Sometimes it’s classified as minimalist music however I have hard time with that because with the amount of notes I have to play in it, it doesn’t feel very minimalist.”

During “In the Village of Hope” little phrases of sounds and melodies jumped out caressing the ear.  “Postales del Alma” has three movements with passion being the first followed by, tristeza and furia.

This piece represents the stages of grief.  The sounds evoke a question asking why and progresses until acceptance is reached.  Godinez strummed and plucked the strings, speed up and slowed down the rhythm of the music.

“Sea Scapes” is a five minute piece that’s broken into two miniatures. The first is “Sea Murmurs” and Godinez describes it as music would sound like if “the ocean were on the harp” and the second is “Sea Spray”.

The composer, Gardener Read, a music professor wrote a lot of text books on music theory.  He’s an extensive composer whose written hundreds of pieces but a few for the harp.

“This one is not regularly performed I had never even heard of it until it fell into my hands one day,” Godinez said.  “I’ve searched online and I can’t find anyone else who is performing it.  It’s a rare little piece and since I’ve found it a few years back I’ve really enjoyed it.”

The Concert Series organized by Associate Professor Jim Bergman has been going on for the last 30 years.  This year Bergman applied for a budget with the Associated Students and is able to bring local and non-local musicians.

“The idea of these concerts is to expose students to 10 concerts of live music,” Bergman said.  “Most students get their music from their ear buds and many of them haven’t been to a live concert.  So, this is all new to them.”

The concerts are primarily classical but vary depending on the organizer for these concerts.  In the past there was Persian music and jazz among a few other genres.

“I’m sure that there will be some concerts that they are going to hate and hopefully there some concerts they’ll love,” Bergman said.  “ I try to give a whole mix of things so that there’s variety.”

Music appreciation classes come to these concerts as part of their work.

“This was my first concert I’ve seen and it was very good,” pre-veterinary major Vanessa Ronero said.  “I would tell them [other students] that would be a great experience and it would motivate them to listen to classical.”