Conservatory of Music hosts President’s Honor Recital

On April 2, the University of Redlands Conservatory of Music held its 41st annual President’s Honor Recital, a showcase of the Conservatory’s most talented students.

There were seven performers, all of them current students. In performance order, they were: Ernest Lopez ‘25, trombone; Jair Lopez ‘24, flute; Elena Mejico ‘06, voice; Hannah Gaugush ‘23, trumpet; Matt Tashima ‘24, marimba; DaNece Lyman ‘24, violin; and Joseph Candelaria ‘22, piano. 

Four performers are working towards their bachelor’s degree, while two are working towards a master’s and one is working towards an artist diploma. One student, Hannah Gaugush, had also previously performed in the 2022 President’s Honor Recital. All seven performers are highly accomplished, many of them having won awards or been given honors in the past. This includes being given opportunities in highly prolific venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and in other countries including Italy and Slovenia. 

Most of the performers are members of the Conservatory’s many ensembles, and a couple, Jair Lopez and Hannah Gaugush, are student musicians or substitutes for the Redlands Symphony Orchestra based at the University of Redlands. Some of the performers had additionally performed with orchestras such as the Pacific Symphony and the Boise Philharmonic. 

University President Krista Newkirk delivering the introductory speech at the Recital.

The recital began with a welcome speech by the university’s president, Krista Newkirk, introducing the purpose of the President’s Honor Recital. The speech was followed by the seven performers, with brief introductions of each performer by University Orchestra conductor Co Nguyen. Pieces included, but were not limited to the aria Mon Coeur s’oeurvre à ta voix” from Saint-Saens’ Samon and Delilah (sang by Elena Mejico), Franz Doppler’s Hungarian Pastoral Fantasy (performed by Jair Lopez), and Prokofiev’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, No. 1 (performed by DaNece Lyman. Awards for each of the participants were given out after the final performance, and a reception was hosted afterwards.

“I’m very privileged and honored to play for the President’s Honor Recital.  It’s a major accomplishment for me as a musician, and as a student at the Conservatory of Music,” Jair Lopez ‘24 said.

Jair Lopez ’24 performing the flute.

Audience member Emma Linderman ‘25, said that she “enjoyed the President’s Honor Recital. It was exciting to listen to everyone and support my peers.” She added that the performance is an excellent opportunity for students to show their abilities.

The President’s Honor Recital is an annual event established by Artist Professor Louanne Long in 1983. It is a showcase of the highest degree of student talent in the Conservatory. Performers can gain the opportunity to perform in the recital via juries and auditions held in December and January. Any student taking applied lessons in the Conservatory are allowed to compete. 

Photos by Hayleigh Yeoh.