Within Cal Poly’s music program is a full symphony of about 80 members. This group is made up of students from all different majors who all share a passion for performance.
Music senior Davis Lerner started playing the bassoon in middle school, and is attending graduate school for bassoon performance.
“I told my mom, she was like, oh, God, I’m gonna have to listen to this thing,” said Lerner. “But I brought it home and I instantly fell in love with the bassoon.”
Students in the Cal Poly Symphony perform orchestral music at concerts each quarter, like the Student Soloist Showcase on March 17th. Members of the symphony can try out to solo at the annual concert in instrument performance, singing, and even conducting.
Computer science sophomore Reenu Kutty soloed the first movement of Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1, having first performed the piece as an orchestral member in middle school.
“Among violinists it’s like, very common repertoire, like most students will end up playing this piece at some point,” said Kutty. “I really liked the piece too, because it’s like, there’s fire in it. Like it’s angry in some parts. And the solo just like, goes crazy. But then there’s also like, really sweet, mellow parts.”
Lerner performed the third movement of W.A. Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto in B flat major. “The third movement is just a fun show piece, it’s in the style of an old dance,” he said. “The bassoon gets to show off all the cool leaps and fun notes. And it’s a real joy to play.”
Music serves multiple purposes in the lives of these student performers, and they hope to share that with the audience.
“It kind of feels like crowd surfing like at a concert,” said Kutty. “I’ve never done that. But I imagine like, it’s just like, there’s like, all these people like, lifting you up and supporting you. And you’re just, like, having a great time.”