The Santa Clara Convention Center has played host to a wide variety of outstanding concerts over the years. Tuesday, March 8, was no exception. The Santa Clara Vanguard performed their first ever Lesson Studio Recitals with several more scheduled for the coming months.
When most people hear ‘Santa Clara Vanguard’, they think of the Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps, a marching band performing exceptionally coordinated musical numbers as well as offering a visual treat for the eyes through marching techniques, stunts and coordinated routines. ‘Feast for the eyes and treat for the senses’ hardly seems adequate when seeing the level of performance they typically put into a show. For those that have seen the Santa Clara Vanguard perform, they recognize the level of precision and sophistication that goes into every show. To achieve that precision, requires hours and hours of practice and dedication. But at the non-college level, the thing that is missing is the chance to perform before a live audience. It’s one thing to perform in front of a coach, or your fellow musicians. However, adding a live audience that will notice a missed note or an off-tempo rhythm adds another dimension to the word “practice.”
It happens at the college level routinely, but outside of that, it just doesn’t happen and is something to which young students aren’t exposed.
Until now. Charles Frost, the Vanguard Corps Director explained, “The big thing about doing recitals is the students are involved in private lessons each week. They might be practicing for eight to ten hours a week, but there’s usually no way for them to practice in front of a live audience. You see that happening at the college level, but outside of that, there’s no way for the students to be exposed to what it’s like to perform in front of people. That’s how the Lesson Studio Recital came about.”
“Tuesday was the first-ever recital for the Private Lesson Studio,” Frost continued. “Some students study all year long, only taking a break during the summer and winter. And this program gives them the chance to be on stage with a live audience.”
Most of the performers were on stage either paired with another musician or performing solo. When emceeing the event, Frost explained, “You’ll see a wide range of all levels tonight – from the beginner player through some of our teachers, some of our A-Corp Cadet members. A good range of music, some with piano accompaniment.”
Over the next hour, audiences were entertained by 11 different performances. The composers also varied – from Mozart to Bach, to Handel and even to the contemporary John Williams, composer of the Star Wars theme. Unfortunately, the audience was small, and few had the opportunity to hear these fine performances. For more information on the Santa Clara Vanguard, please visit www.scvanguard.org.