Oscar Esteves with Pacific Symphony

Clarinetist Oscar Esteves took advantage of an offer from the Pacific Symphony to sit in with the orchestra to perform Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet.” The program, in which Orange County musicians are invited to perform with the orchestra and conductor Carl St.Clair, is called ”OC Can You Play With Us?”

One of the LA Times reviewers, Randy Lewis, also performed with the symphony. He’s in the photo above, just to the left of Oscar. The photo and article appeared in the LA Times on Tuesday, May, 1, and can be accessed here.

Alumnus Kyle Spraker in concert

Alumnus trumpeter Kyle Spraker (second from the left) is in residence at the Longy school with the Redline Brass Quintet. They will be performing recital on Friday, May 4, at the Longy School. Among the works on the program is  Lutoslawski’s Mini Overture. They posted a sneak preview on youtube here.

You can find out more about the Redline Quintet on their website.


Dr. Leland Vail, Distinguished Faculty Advisor

We celebrated Lee Vail’s award as the 2012 Distinguished Faculty Advisor, as well as his last semester as a full time faculty member. Lee will begin the Early Faculty Retirement program in the fall.

Lee has been the undergraduate advisor since being named to a tenure-track position. He has also acted as the graduate advisor.

Several current and former students wrote on his behalf. Jeremy Cooley wrote, “He wanted to be sure I was succeeding, to help me become the musician that I wanted to be.  If he was in his office, the door was always open, welcoming students with questions and concerns at any time, never turning anyone away.  Come Christmastime, he would bring hot cider and offer it to any and all who passed by his office.  It was clear to me that he loves his work,  that not only does he love the students for whose success he is responsible, but that he loves life and people in general.”

Anna DeMichele wrote, ”He offers humor when appropriate, correction when warranted and advice when needed. He is very approachable, always treats students with the utmost respect, and his general attitude is reflective of one who truly enjoys his job.”

Corbin Foster wrote, “I knew that, if I felt like I wasn’t going far enough or as good as I thought I should be, I knew I could talk to him about it. Perhaps it was because he was so hard on people, that whenever he would look at you, take off his glasses and smile with not only his bushy salt and pepper beard, his eyes would show genuine concern. I always left his office feeling better, feeling brave enough to step back into those brick halls and hit the practice room some more.”

Lowell Liebermann Congratulates Chris Maldonado

photo by Laura Pluth

Lowell Liebermann, one of America’s most frequently performed and recorded living composers, sent his congratulations to Christopher Maldonado for winning the BCCM concerto competition playing his second concerto.

Christopher Maldonado also won first place in the college-age concerto division of MTAC’s Southern California Concerto-Solo competition, one of the most competitive in our region. Chris will represent Southern California in the state finals in June. Taylor Chan was first alternate in the solo division, second only to Jason Lo, a graduate of the Cole Conservatory’s piano performance program. Notably, current and past CSULB piano students won both the Concerto and Solo competitions, placing above a large group of competitors from USC and other southern California universities.

Yamaha Brass

The brass students were treated to a visit from Yamaha Atelier representatives yesterday. The reps brought samples of their entire inventory including professional models to school for the students to play. The report back from Yamaha is that they were impressed with our “seriously talented players.”