Time to shine
Upcoming Cap Classics concert showcases student’s life-long work
Rachel D’Sa // Arts and Culture Editor
The upcoming Cap Classics series will be gracing the BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts with a showcase of Capilano University based talent on Mar. 9. The free concert at 11:45 a.m. will bring CapU’s dedicated musicians to the stage, showcasing Music Diploma program students who were the top prize winners of the performance competitions.
Typically, the Cap Classics series features performances by faculty, alumni and students, three times each fall and spring semester. The event’s director and coordinator and instructor for the School of Performing Arts, Dr. Wendy Grant, believes that the series is incredibly beneficial to the community. She noted that it encourages those both inside and outside the University’s community to come out and support the arts, while in exchange, watching high-quality performances.
Grant looks forward to the upcoming student showcase, as she recognizes just how important the show is for its performers. “It’s a way for people to kind of understand what we do here in the Music diploma. It’s also a great opportunity for our students to have a concert experience at their own academic institution,” she said.
The process that is bringing these students under the spotlight on the Friday afternoon was anything but an in-class recital. For the students to have been eligible to perform they must have possessed a GPA of 3.0 or higher. The preliminary first round took place earlier this year to hear all of the interested performers, to make sure that they were playing at a high enough level and that their professors were confident that they would do well. As much as Grant would like to showcase the development of each student in the program, due to time accommodations, she had to present the students with a competition to narrow down the list of potential performers.
The gala event competition that then took place, filled with flowers, food and black ties, gave more students the opportunity to share with family and friends their passions. After the performances, judging faculty met to discuss who would continue to the final Cap Classics showcase, with Grant receiving the honour of announcing the winners. “My favorite part is enjoying how much the students respond to the various performers and how much they kind of grow as young musicians, hearing different repertoire and seeing different combinations of instruments being played.”
Ultimately, two students from first-year and two from second-year, one winner and one runner-up, were chosen to perform in the upcoming show. First-year performers include runner-up, Annie (Yen Yen) Huang (piano) and winner, Alexandria Mitchell (flute). Second-year performers include runner-up, Charmaine Iormetti (voice), and winner, Qu Zheng (erhu). Grant noted that it was only just this last year that the program started offering lessons on what is considered to be ‘world instruments.’ While many of the works that will be showcased at the concert will be classical western art music, Zheng’s Chinese instrumental performance will be a cultural experience that is new to the University — something that has been missing from previous student showcases.
Grant recognizes that this showcase allows students to set themselves apart, and have their time to shine, while allowing the community to look upon up-and-coming performers. “It will give them a really wonderful concert experience of what it’s like to perform in a showcase situation, not just one piece but to actually participate in a bigger concert where the focus is on them,” said Grant.
This is not the only showcase of the student’s university careers, as they are required to participate in many performances within the curriculum. Grant however noted that this upcoming concert will be a milestone for its performers, as they have been training for the spotlight for more than just their time at the University. “Generally students have been preparing from the beginning of the year, working with their private music instructors, choosing repertoire, and things like that,” said Grant. To perform any kind of classical music, it takes months and months and months of practice. It’s not a quick thing like, ‘oh I think I’ll go do this.’ You have to have a very high level of accomplishment.” This upcoming concert is a time for the community to come together and celebrate not just the accomplishments of the University program, but the journey of students on their way to successful futures.