Student Voice

Moorpark College music program presents their first Musical Menagerie

Moorpark+College+Symphony+Orchestra+and+Symphonic+Choir+directed+by+Brandon+Elliott.+Photo+credit%3A+Nikolas+Gigena
Moorpark College Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Choir directed by Brandon Elliott. Photo credit: Nikolas Gigena

Moorpark College Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Choir directed by Brandon Elliott. Photo credit: Nikolas Gigena

Moorpark College Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Choir directed by Brandon Elliott. Photo credit: Nikolas Gigena

By Nikolas Gigena

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The Moorpark College music program held its first-ever Musical Menagerie in the Moorpark College Performing Arts Center over the weekend.

This event showcased and supported local talent, and allowed the audience to learn more about orchestral music while enjoying themselves with an evening of live performances. With a donation of $16, guests were invited to experience music by the Moorpark College symphony orchestra and symphonic choir.

Nicola Winokur, an 18-year-old student performer in the Musical Menagerie, explained the importance of these events.

“Shows like these are a great opportunity to see the talent that lives in your community, and to broaden your horizon in music tastes,” said Winokur.

The orchestra opened the show by performing the popular piece, Carmen Suite No. 1, originally composed by Gioacchino Rossini, followed by Camille Saint-Saëns’ work, named Carnival of the Animals. During the Saint-Saëns piece, the orchestra depicted many different animals using sound and narration by Dean Kalfsbeek-Goetz and John Loprieno.

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John Loprieno and Jennifer Kalfsbeek-Goetz narrating The Carnival of the Animals. Photo credit: Nikolas Gigena

Both of these works were directed by Moorpark College music director James J. Song. After a quick intermission, the choir joined the orchestra to perform Lux Aeterna, which means “eternal light” in Latin.

Professor Brandon Elliott described Lux Aeterna as “a universal symbol of illumination at all levels: spiritual, artistic and intellectual ” in the program notes.

Whether you are a fan of orchestral music or are just attending to support a loved one in the music program, the Music Menagerie arranged a program that introduced new musical talent to its patrons.

“Music impacts so many people in so many different ways, and that’s why I believe it’s important to support your local music program,” said Jakob Gaeta,19-year-old choir performer

“We practiced very hard every Tuesday and Thursday, and I’m glad to see all the support from the audience,” said Gaeta.

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The orchestra getting into position before the guests started to fill in. Photo credit: Nikolas Gigena

Music is something that is a part of all of our lives. Whether you have a friend or family member in the Moorpark College music program, or you are just interested in live orchestral music, your support is greatly appreciated and ensures these events can keep happening.

For more information about the Performing Arts Center or for future events, please contact the Moorpark College Box Office at (805)378-1485 or visit their website.

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