Chancellor’s Residence recital series completes another successful year

6 min read
McNamara jazz group with Mrs. Block
McNamara jazz group with Mrs. Block

As many on campus know, the Chancellor’s Residence Recital Program was created in the fall of 2007 by the Associate of the Chancellor, Mrs. Carol Block. Mrs. Block’s goal for the program was threefold. First, Mrs. Block wanted to open the Chancellor’s Residence up to more visitors and give UCLA students and staff an opportunity to visit the residence. Second, she wanted to establish a way for the staff at UCLA to interact with students in a more social setting. Finally, being an avid music lover, Mrs. Block wanted to give UCLA music students the opportunity to showcase their talents in an intimate setting as unique as the Chancellor’s Residence.

Students who wish to perform on the series must apply for a recital spot by completing a detailed application, which includes their proposed program, their ranked choices for recital dates, and official approval by their instructor or area head. All students are carefully vetted before being approved to perform in this series.

Since Mrs. Block began the inaugural Chancellor’s Residence Recital Program, hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students have been featured, performing programs of classical, jazz, bluegrass, mariachi, and Balkan folk, among many other styles of music. Audiences were invited from areas across campus by Mrs. Block and her team.

This year was an especially successful year for this series, with 19 recitals presented by students from all three departments in the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music–Music, Ethnomusicology, and Musicology as well as from the Global Jazz Studies Program. This year’s series began at the beginning of March and went through the end of May.

The following students performed on the 2019 series, either as solo artists or in collaboration with other students, staff or faculty members. Our deepest thanks and appreciation go to Mrs. Carol Block for faithfully taking photos at every single recital, every single year, and to her hardworking staff Erica Eskes and Carlin McArthur, who managed the miracle of fitting all of these recitals into a very busy Residence schedule.

March 2019
Killian Kelly from the Department of Music performed on cello with fellow students Priyanka Venkatesh on violin and Valerie Stern on piano. They played a program of pieces composed by Astor Piazzolla. Mrs. Block appears with the trio, center right.

Collin McCrary, tenor saxophone, with Grant Grech, guitar (both from Global Jazz Studies) played a set of jazz standards from the American Songbook and some originals in duo fashion (saxophone and guitar). The set included swing, bebop, and ballad tunes along with a handful of originals by artists such as Bud Powell, Sam Rivers, Vincent Youmans, John Coltrane, and Frank Loesser.

Hana Kim, from the Music Department, provided a recital of solo piano repertoire, including Joseph Haydn’s Andante with Variations, Hob. XVII:6, and Johann Sebastian Bach’s Chaconne (Arr. Ferruccio Busoni).

Joyce Kwak, a violinist, brought an ensemble from the Music Department (violin, piano, and cello) to perform works by Mozart and Brahms. Her collaborators were Mindy Cheng on piano and Dayoon Kang on cello.

Up next in the series Larry Alvarez, on baritone sax, brought his friends from Global Jazz Studies to collaborate on a recital of pieces by Thelonious Monk, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Chega De Saudade, UCLA professor Wayne Shorter, Gene de Paul, and Clifford Brown. The ensemble members included Kimiko Daniels on piano, Lauren White on bass, Juan Gonzalez on alto sax, and Lorenzo Siciliano on drums.

April 2019
Sophia Inaba from Musicology, along with the fabulous Kyodo Taiko drummers gave a standout performance on the Taiko drums (on the Residence patio!). Their smiles and enthusiasm, combined with mesmerizing choreography, provided a memorable recital event.

This year the series had a wonderfully varied assortment of performers from Global Jazz studies. Glynnis McNamara and her jazz ensemble (all 2nd year students) consisting of Isabel Dobrev on bass, Ben Hara on guitar, Hayden Hunt on piano, Brendan Kersey-Wilson on trombone, Glynnis McNamara playing baritone saxophone, Steve Murillo on alto saxophone, and Lorenzo Siciliano on drums. They played five selections by various composers. Mrs. Block (center left) is in the photo as well.

Moving into the vocal area, the next recital’s audience was treated to a program by a vocal quartet from the Music Department, featuring Katharina Haberl (mezzo soprano), Mario Arias (tenor), Jared Jones (baritone) and Grace Martino (soprano), and accompanied by staff accompanist Michele Scanlon. Repertoire include arias from music theater, art song, and opera. Photo below includes Mrs. Block (center left) and Michele Scanlon (far left).

The next audience was treated to another piano/violin/cello string trio, who performed the Smetana Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 15.  Performers were Veola Sun, piano (Undergraduate, 2nd year), Ji Eun Hwang, violin (Masters, 2nd year), and Jamie Kang, cello (Masters, 2nd year). Mrs. Block is pictured, far right.

Pianist Sophia Su presented a solo piano concert consisting of a Beethoven piano sonata, a Liszt étude, and a ballad by Saariaho.

May 2019
Moving into the home stretch in the month of May–nine concerts in one month!–on May 2nd the series featured Jamie Kang on cello and staff pianist Xiao Chen on piano in a concert consisting of all four movements of Rachmaninov’s Sonata in G minor for cello and piano.

May 7th brought a piano duo with Kenneth Glendon Brown and Brandon Zhou playing Gabriel Fauré, Soulima Stravinsky, and Kenneth Glendon.

Next, Da Yoon (Grace) Kang offered a recital of piano and cello music on May 8th. Her partner in this recital was Mindy Cheng, also from the Music Department.  Their program was all César Franck–his Sonata for Piano and Violin in A Major (Version for Violoncello).

On May 9, 2nd year trombone major Cole Davis offered an ambitious program in collaboration with staff pianist Valeriya Morgovskaya–Telemann: Flute Fantasy, No. 5; Mahler: Songs of a Wayfarer; Guilmant: Morceau Symphonique; Fauré: Après un Rève.

In mid-May, Jacelyn Yeo (soprano) and Michael Valentekovic (bass-baritone) offered something a little different–a program of songs with clarinet (Pedro Gomez) and piano (Victoria Kirsch, staff accompanist and coach). This recital was primarily opera arias, and the selections came from Schubert, Brahms, Donzetti, Ibert, Mussorgsky, and Mozart.

Talented violinist Priyanka Venkatesh appears in the series here for a second time, this time in a violin recital with accompaniment by Dr. James Lent.  A nicely contrasting offering of Granados Sonata para violin y piano, H. 127,  and Brahms Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 77. I

After a wonderful batch of classical music recitals, we next had jazz vocalist Ashley Elizabeth Crowe and Brendon Kersey-Wilson performing on May 28th. This fun program included these favorites: I’ll Take Romance, by Oscar Hammerstein II, Ben Oakland; Don’t Get Around Much Anymore, Duke Ellington; Sweet William, Nat King Cole; All My Tomorrows, Sammy Cahn and Jimmy van Heusen; and Route 66, Bobby Troup.

Next to last recital for the year was a double piano offering by Austin Ho and Kelsey Ma. Kelsey offered Bach and Chopin, and Austin played two Kreisler pieces transcribed by Sergei Rachmaninoff.

And the last, but definitely not the least, was the final recital of the season–a very special guitar recital by the UCLA Guitar Ensemble, directed by Dr. Peter Yates of the Music Department. They were: Joseph Seyedan (Classical Guitar Performance – Sophomore); Aaron Dozal (Classical Guitar Performance – Senior); Hanna Yocute (Classical Guitar Performance – Graduate); Juan Rivera (Classical Guitar Performance – Graduate); Matthew Lombard (Saxophone – Graduate), Payam Larijani (UCLA Alumni); Joan Greenwald (UCLA Alumni); and Jory Schulman. They offered a varied program of works by Leo Brouwer, Francisco Tarrega, Robert De Visée, Benjamin Boone, Erik Satie, Gary Eister, and Jonathan Grasse