The art of the Baroque era was revived last weekend. Music students from the Valley participated in the Fresno County Baroque Festival on Saturday, Feb. 18. Participants were judged and given a score that determined if they were eligible to perform at a regional concert held in March.
The Baroque Festival was held in the Concert Hall of the new music building at Fresno State by the Music Teachers Association of California (MTAC) of Fresno County.
Lenore Heibert, who teaches piano at Fresno State and private piano lessons from her home, noted that MTAC is an organization for private piano instructors to be a resource and sponsor events for their students to participate in.
There were three recitals in which 31 students had a chance to perform their best in the style of music during the Baroque Era. In the era of 1600 to 1750, during this time Johann Sebastian Bach is the most famous for his compositions.
Ranging from mostly piano to organ students, with a few cello students, they were able to play the many works of Bach and a few works from other Baroque composers.
“I was impressed with the variety they had of organ and piano.” Helga Medd said.
Medd, an audience member who is also part of MTAC, has been teaching piano for many years.
Matthew Harikian, a senior at University High School, played a Bach piece by piano at the festival.
He has played the piano for 12 years and practices about 10 hours a week.
Harikian talked about his music skill and how MTAC teachers have contributed to it.
“[MTAC] completely changed the way I’ve played through technique and the way I think about music. More individual thinking during my practices,” said Harikian.
Another student, Emma Laramie, an eighth-grader at Carden School of Fresno, spoke of how MTAC teachers help perfect her musical skills.
“They’ve helped me improve in theory and technically,” Laramie said. I feel they’ve given me a challenge to look forward to. It would be nice to be chosen and go to regionals, and I think I’d be very nervous.”
Students from elementary school through high school and a few college students have become familiar with Baroque-style music, which has been practiced for centuries.
“An old craft, an old art that is still being appreciated by young people today,” Heibert said as she brought up the significance of students playing Baroque music.
When asked what she liked about performing Baroque-style music, Harikian said “I like the simplicity of a lot of it, and I like seeing the results of a lot of hard work.”
Harikian, just like Laramie, is among one of the hopeful students who was judged for a spot in the regional concert in March.