Audience gives standing ovation for classical concert

Miles Ishigaki on the clarinet, Kevin Inoa-Diaz on the cello and Shing-Ming Liao on piano during the performance of “Ladies In White” by Paquito D’Rivera. (Vanessa Rios/The Collegian)

The Fresno State Concert Hall radiated with colorful artwork and lighting on Saturday night, as Dr. Miles M. Ishigaki and his former and current students save the “Small Performing: A Potpourri of Chamber Music & Art” concert.

“It was a celebration of the clarinet, which is a series of concerts we’ve got going on,” said Aaron Marcus Luna, who played the clarinet in the show.

Luna, a former student who now works as a clarinet instructor, was one of the many former students of Ishigaki.

Ishigaki has been a music professor at Fresno State since 1987.

Ishigaki was first celebrated in 2017 with the concert “Celebrating 30 Years of Clarinet at Fresno State: Bringing Together Artists, Alumni and Students.”

“We’re celebrating Dr. Ishigaki’s 32 years of clarinet teaching at Fresno State,” Luna said. “This concert has been playing for over a year now.”

While this event was a night to appreciate the clarinet, it was ultimately a potpourri, as its name suggests. The show featured both chamber music and art, literally. Whenever performers would come on stage, they would play next to an art piece that was compatible to the music, Ishigaki said.

Fresno State art students provided these pieces.

“Typically the concert will not have as much lighting or artwork, so we tried something different this time,” said Ishigaki.

Alongside the paintings, each performance had a specific spotlight that shined bright at the center of the hall and complemented the timing and movement on stage, which was provided by a music student.

Indeed, there was a common theme in the night and that was student involvement.

The concert lasted less than two hours and left the crowd on their feet saluting the performers, wishing for more.

“Time went by so fast,” said Adriana Reyes, a Fresno State student who attended the show for her class. “I don’t listen to jazz or classical music, but this show was incredible and I wish it lasted longer.”

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