Student musicians showcase classical talent

Danielle Silveira singing soprano and David Rothe playing the organ at the Bach Festival. Photo credit: Chelsea Jeffers

Bach is regarded as possibly the greatest composer of all time and his work revolutionized music for the centuries. The Chico Bach Festival is a celebration of Bach and his influence on music through the ages.

The first performance of the festival, “Baroque, Not Broke,” took the stage Thursday afternoon in Rowland-Taylor Recital Hall.

The stage contained two spectacular Baroque-style pipe organs, a harpsichord and a grand piano.

The performance consisted of seven beautifully executed pieces by Bach, George F. Handel, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi and Domenico Scarlatti.

The students participating exhibited immense talent on the flute, bassoon, piano and vocals.

The vocals were an exceptional addition to the music. Each of the singers were very talented in the traditional opera style and their stylings complemented the music beautifully.

The audience was silent as the performers played each piece, taking in the reflective and intelligent beauty of the music.

The festival usually includes pieces by Bach and some of his contemporaries and successors, and sometimes his predecessors are included to show the development of music through time, said David Rothe, a former Chico State professor and the founder of the Chico Bach Festival.

“One of the things people say about Bach is that he is the composer into which, and from whom all things musical have happened,” Rothe said.

Within this music one can hear the origins of every type of music, which is amazing to experience. It elicits a real appreciation for the great composers of the Baroque period.

“The music was very soothing,” said Sarah Curd, a music student at Butte College.

Shannon Sweeney, another music student at Butte College, and her friend are in a music class and they found out about the Bach festival through the Kaleidoscope, a publication by the School of the Arts, she said.

The Chico Bach Festival will continue with a performance by Rodney Gehrke of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music on Friday night and will conclude on Saturday night with a performance by countertenor Reginald Mobley.

Anyone interested in singing or classical music will not want to miss out on these fantastic performances.

Sarah Scharf can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.