High tech gear showcases musical talent ensemble

By James Tutten

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.

On top of the full live band with several members switching and playing multiply instruments throughout. The stage, lighting, sound, and video set up utilized 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 the classical style, and displayed a pitch perfect, laid-back melodic performance.

Other musicians switched around between songs and played several different instruments like drummer, singer and guitarst Andrew Bosh. “A group that gels really well together, just sounds so 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 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. “I quite enjoyed it.”

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 www.valenciacollege.edu/arts/