Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Talented students rock, backed by latest media

      A talented group of students showcased their musical skills as part of the “Commercial Music Ensemble” presented by the Valencia College music department. This free show also showed off the skilled technical productions Valencia is capable of. 

     “We do two performances a year and in the Black Box we normally have a packed house,” said Musical Director, Troy Gifford.

     The seats filled up quickly for this performance with some audiences members standing off to the side for the entire performance. A team of digital media students, led by Julian Matos, filmed the concert with five large HD cameras, and streamed the show live on Valencia’s website.

     This full live band of music students also had several members switching and playing multiple instruments throughout. The stage, lighting, sound and video set up utilized is valued well over $50,000 worth of professional grade equipment.

     The musical talent and diversity created the magic of the evening. The upbeat and diverse song selection could please everyone’s musical taste, with hits like ‘Superstition’ by Stevie Wonder, ‘Clocks’ by Cold Play, and ‘Jammin’ by Bob Marley.

     For only a short few weeks of practice the ensemble gelled as a group and certain members really shined in their personal talent levels. Some members decided to wear some Halloween costumes to add another fun element to the performance.

     “My dream job would be to perform and make money off of that, a way to be simultaneously in a opera and be involved in a rock band,” said Samantha Riling-Lopez. A vocal performance major, Riling- Lopez is currently specializing in classical style, and displayed a pitch perfect, laid-back melodic tone.

     Other musicians switched around between songs and played several different instruments like drummer, singer and bassist Andrew Bosh. “A group that gels really well together, just sounds better, and getting that gel to happen is the most difficult part,” said Bosh.

     The show ended with a standing ovation from the packed house.

     “I think they did a great job,” said audience member, Mike Acavedo. “The horns, drums, vocals, and everything was nice and it just felt comfortable.”

     “I saw this same group perform yesterday, I really like Andrew on the drums and Samantha on the vocals did awesome,” said Marlina Conrad, a second year computer information and technology student.

     If you missed the show or just want to see the ‘Banana Brothers’ rock out in real time, this show is available in the digital media video on-demand section of Valencia’s website. More information can be found at

By James Tutten

(Published: Nov. 9, 2011 issue of "ValenciaVoice" on page 16.)

(Photos by Felicia Roopchand / Valencia Voice)

David Geldert has played trumpet for over 12
years, and just for fun dressed up as a banana.

Juan Rodriguez was also featured singing a Spanish language rock song


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