A medley of music takes over


Javier Valdes

Lisa Buringrud conducts the orchestra and concert band at the combined concert event, A Night of Rhythm. The concert marks one of the first BC Orchestra on-campus performences in recent years.

Mason J. Rockfellow, Reporter

The Bakersfield College’s Performing Arts Department hosted a combined concert featuring the new BC orchestra and concert band, BC’s indoor drumline and the Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corps, chamber singers, college choir, and jazz ensemble.

The concert, A Night of Rhythm, was held in the Performing Arts Center outdoor theater at 7 p.m. on May 2.

This was only the second performance in the new outdoor theater since it went under construction three years ago. Noteworthy was the grand re-opening performance by the Bakersfield Symphony and the BC college choir on April 25.

The Performing Art Department’s chair, John Gerhold, welcomed everyone to the new outdoor theater and then introduced the orchestra to start the event.

This year, the BC orchestra is back and has a new director, Lisa M. Buringrud.

Buringrud has accomplished a lot, from getting a master’s of music degree in instrumental conducting to being an author, a recording artist, as well as her ensembles receiving top musical festival ratings throughout the state, and she is also the music director for California City High School.

The orchestra and concert band performed seven pieces accompanied by choir director Jennifer Garrett on the harp. The pieces included “Concerto Grosso VIII, Op. 6 No. 8,” Disney’s “Frozen,” works from DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon,” three pieces from the suite from The Hobbit, “Old Friends and The Adventure Begins,” “Song of the Lonely Mountain,” and “Dreaming of Bag End,” and the theme song from “New York, New York.”

Director Tim Heasley presented the Bakersfield College indoor drumline. The BC drumline consisted of: snare drums, cymbals, tenor drums, bass drums and a front ensemble. Every member was in matching blue uniforms, and each part of the drumline was playing in unison together, the cymbals players in the back even had choreographed spinning moves and hand motions that went on throughout their performance. The indoor drumline usually plays in gymnasiums against other drumlines and so the stage was barely big enough for the BC indoor drumline, but they made it work.

The expansion of this program was the Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corps from BC.

The drum and bugle corps usually consist of percussion, brass, and color guard but the stage wasn’t big enough for the color guard to perform, so the color guard did not have a performance. The drum and bugle corps were dressed in matching red and white uniforms. The brass had choreographed motions to bring up and let down their instruments in a wave like motion, throughout the performance. The drum and bugle corps played short selections from their 2015 program. This program meets once a week until summer, where they rehearse daily. Last year, was the first year in competition for the drum and bugle corps.

The BC choir and chamber singers led by Garrett, they sung eight pieces for the concert in which one was not in the program and the first to be played a song called “Gloria.” The BC college choir, which is composed of music majors and non-music majors, performed followed by the BC’s combined men’s chorus, the combined women’s chorus, chamber singers, and ended with the combined choirs. BC’s own Edgar Sandoval, who also played the piano for the song, wrote one of the pieces.

There were two songs performed that had soloists. The piece “Still I Rise,” had soloists Abby Baker-Lizaola, Julie Foth, and Caley Mayhall and “Ev’ry Time I Feel the Spirit,” had solos by Brady Allred and Caley Mayhall.

Garrett dedicated the piece, “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” to her best friend and younger sister, who recently was diagnosed with leukemia.

“I just want her to know that she’s always been there for me, she’s always been one of my, what I like to think as my bridge over troubled water, and I want to be that for her also, so this is dedicated to my little sister.”

The last performance of the night was the BC jazz ensemble led by Kris Tiner.

The group performed a set of five compositions by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, and even played an extra Ellington piece, “Feet Bone.”

Tiner was explaining to the crowd how Ellington pieces are hard to play and that he has waited for the talent to come through the BC jazz ensemble to have a complete set, and knew that the talent was there but many of them would be moving on and transferring after this semester, so now was the time to do it.

“I have been waiting on the perfect ensemble with which to do that and we have a fantastic group this year. I knew this was the moment, we had to get it done,” said Tiner.