Eight student winners of the 2019 Goshen College Concerto-Aria Competition will take to the stage in Sauder Concert Hall this Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019, for the 59th annual Concerto-Aria concert.
The students will perform arias and individual concerto movements with the Goshen College Symphony Orchestra, directed Jose Rocha, associate professor of music.
A concerto-aria is normally an opera-like scene composed for a singer and orchestra, written specifically for performance in concert rather than as part of an opera. An aria is a self-contained piece for one voice.
Arias are performed with or without instrumental accompaniment and are normally part of a larger work. Concerto-arias are usually composed for particular singers or singers in specific vocal range. Traditionally, the composer bears in mind the singer’s voice and skill when composing the work.
Rebecca Choi, a soprano and junior interdisciplinary major from Arlington, Massachusetts, is performing in the event. Choi will sing Mozart’s “Batti, Batti O bel Masetto” from Don Giovanni.
“I am feeling very excited and a bit nervous,” said Choi. “If I told myself in high school I would be singing with an orchestra, I would have walked away from the conversation.”
“I chose this song because I wanted to challenge myself to portray someone that I am not,” Choi said. Choi notes she chose this song because of how ridiculous and challenging it was.
“Also, I wanted to sing a piece composed by Mozart, it is beautiful but hard in finding places to breathe,” Choi said.
Minhyuk Kim, a sophomore music major from Lansdale, Pennsylvania, is also performing. Kim will perform Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18 (Movement 1). Kim chose the piece based on a passion for the piece itself.
“I watched a video that influenced my life tremendously,” Kim said. The video was of pianist Alexis Weissenberg with Herbert Karajan conducting the Berlin Philharmonic performing the piece. Kim was transfixed watching the 30-minute performance, and decided then he would perform the piece.
Gogo Liegiese, a sophomore molecular biology/biochemistry major from Dimpur, India will perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 (Movement 3).
“The experience through the competition to the concert has been overwhelming and humbling,” Liegiese said. “I am filled with a deep sense of gratitude for this wonderful opportunity to be able to share the art of Beethoven and the God-given gift of music.”
Lisa Rosado Rivera, a soprano and sophomore music major and theater double major from San Juan, Puerto Rico will perform “Una Voce Poco fa” from Il Barbieri di Siviglia. Rivera has been working on this piece since the beginning of last year with Deb Detwiler, associate professor of music.
“She was impressed with the resonance and confidence I had in my voice,” said Rivera. “She felt intrigued to hand me this piece. I just fell in love with it.”
Rivera is excited to bring the piece to a larger audience. “It brings life and a colorful palette to the repertoire that has been chosen for this competition,” Rivera said.
Josh Liechty, a senior molecular biology/biochemistry major from Archbold, Ohio and fellow senior Lukas Thompson, a music major from Goshen, will join to sing Donizetti’s “Cheti, Cheti Immantinente,” a duet from Don Pasquale.
“There’s definitely more excitement when doing the song with the orchestra,” Liechty said. “Being able to perform with Lukas definitely takes away lots of nerves because of how comfortable and excited he is on stage.”
Other students performing are Abigail Greaser, a junior music and theater double major from Goshen, and Nathan Pauls, a baritone and junior communication major from Kinzers, Pennsylvania.
Greaser will perform Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64 (Movement 1). Pauls will sing Kurt Weill’s “Lonely House” from Street Scene.
Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for seniors/students and are available online at goshen.edu/tickets or at the Goshen College Box Office. Goshen College faculty/staff/students are free with ID.
Not pictured: Nathan Pauls and Rebecca Choi