SACRAMENTO — The California State University, Sacramento’s baroque ensemble, Camerata Capistrano, is performing Sunday, Dec. 9, at Sacramento State’s Capistrano Hall Room 151 starting at 4 p.m.
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Among the many numbers the group will play are Telemann’s “Water Music,” Handel’s “Arrival of the Queen of Sheba,” Vivaldi’s “Concerto for Strings,” and Johann Christian Bach’s “Grand Overture in E-Flat Major, Op. 18, No. 1.”
All 27 members don’t necessarily play at the same concerts, but the lineup consists of violins, violas, string bass, cello, bassoons, oboes, flutes, guitar, sometimes horns, and, of course, the harpsichord.
In keeping with a baroque ensemble performance, the group performs without a director. Historically the composer would play with the group, probably on harpsichord, nodding his head as a cue to the other musicians.
Camerata Capistrano musicians take their cues from one another. “Whoever has the main part gives the cue for the whole group to come in and we work on doing that together,” said violinist Amanda Lostritto.
While most of the musicians are music majors, that isn’t a hard and fast rule.
“We have a violist who isn’t a performance major, she’s a biology major,” cellist Carrie Miller said.
Camerata Capistrano began in 2005.
It didn’t take long for word to spread. A video of the group performing in Berkeley received a lot of attention on YouTube, and many incoming Sac State music students already are aware of the ensemble.
Violinist Paolo Reyes was invited to join the group and has found baroque an enjoyable challenge.
“I especially enjoy the amount of detail work we have to look at and observe and remember every single time,” Reyes said. “There are a lot of nuances.”
Students who join the group are demonstrating an extraordinary commitment to their craft. “This is an extracurricular activity,” Music Professor Lorna Peters said. “This is on top of all their required ensembles, their lessons with their teachers and all their coursework.”
But all that work can pay off. Faythe Vollrath was a harpsichordist during the group’s first year and said the experience proved invaluable.
“To get the opportunities as an undergrad to play with so many different people gave me a much bigger foundation than other students when I went to graduate school,” Vollrath said.
Vollrath recently completed her doctorate in harpsichord performance at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where she studied with Arthur Haas, Peters’ former teacher.
Tickets are $10 general, $7 for seniors and $5 for students, and are available at the University Ticket Office, or call 916-278-4323.
For more information on Sac State’s music department visit csus.edu/music or call 916-278-5191.