University of Redlands

University of Redlands presents 39th Annual President’s Honor Recital

The University of Redlands will present performances of seven students considered “the best of the best” at the 39th Annual President’s Honor Recital, 4 p.m. Sunday, May 23, 2021, as a virtual event recorded in the Frederick Loewe Theatre in the School of Music. The recital is free and open to the public. Visit to enjoy the event.

The President’s Honor Recital, established in 1983 by University of Redlands Artist Professor Louanne Long, provides a public showcase for the most outstanding performers in the University’s School of Music. Faculty select the students performing through juries and auditions held in December and January. This diverse cohort of undergraduate and graduate students bested all others at the annual competition where many University students, who take private lessons on an instrument or in voice with a School of Music faculty member, compete.

The following artists will perform:

  • Marcelo Aguinaga ’21 is a tenor trombone player from Los Angeles. He decided to study trombone at the University of Redlands in 2017 after a lively—and busy—high school music experience. He’s now focused on becoming a freelance orchestral trombonist; he says being at the U of R has given him great opportunities. He played with the University of Redlands Symphony Orchestra, the Colburn Youth Orchestra, and the Idyllwild Symphony Orchestra. Marcelo’s most memorable experiences include performing at the 2018 International Trombone Festival with the University of Redlands trombone choir and participating in the Pokorny Low Brass Seminars in 2017 and 2018.
  • Jose Luis Becerra ’24 is pursuing his degree in clarinet performance. Luis, who has been playing clarinet for about seven years, says music has changed his life. He has performed in notable venues, including Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and Segerstrom Hall. Luis knows playing classical music is what he wants to do for the rest of his life, so he appreciates every opportunity he gets to perform.
  • Emanuel Esparza ’22 is earning a degree in music education under the direction of Dr. Eddie Smith. Emanuel, a lifelong Inland Empire resident, learned to play the flute and the saxophone in various school band programs. After his high school graduation, Emanuel worked at Fender Musical in Corona. He also joined La Sierra University’s music department as a volunteer musician, performing with the orchestra, wind ensemble, jazz band, jazz combo, and the flute and saxophone studio quartets. His time at La Sierra University inspired him to pursue music education; afterward, he enrolled at Mt. San Jacinto College and majored in music. He was also active in various musical groups at Mt. San Jacinto, performing major concerto and sonata works. With his Redlands education, Emanuel hopes to give back to his community by teaching music in public schools.
  • Anna Forgét ’21 graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in international relations and music. Anna has been singing for nine years and is enjoying it immensely. She will be playing the role of Giulietta in the university’s upcoming opera, Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi. During her time at Redlands, Anna performed with Opera Workshop and Chapel Singers; she also studied under Cindy Snyder. Now that she’s a graduate, Anna plans to pursue a career in international security.
  • Violinist Leslie Gonzalez ’23 is a 19-year-old residing in Los Angeles. For 11 years, she studied violin in her El Sistema program, The Harmony Project. At Redlands, Leslie is pursuing her bachelor of music degree in violin performance under Samuel Fischer. She has performed with international musicians within the Los Angeles Philharmonic, New World Symphony, Sistema Scotland, and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. She’s also participated in summer programs including Interlochen Arts Camp and YOLA National Festival. Leslie was part of the first cohort of 22 students at the YOLA National Institute. She hopes to grow into a musician who can bring change in the world of music and inspire others to do the same.
  • Connor Licharz ’20, ’22 is a musician from Bonn, Germany, with a classical voice, organ, and piano background. He completed his bachelor of music degree at Redlands in May 2020 and was very excited to return to campus to complete the first year of his master of music in vocal chamber music. He originally came to U of R to study piano, but changed his focus of study to classical voice after auditioning into Chapel Singers, and has now sung with them for the past five years. Connor is playing the organ in this recital, an instrument he has been studying since 2017. He has played organ with the University of Redlands Wind Ensemble in their performance of David Maslanka’s A Childs Garden of Dreams and the University of Redlands piano studio’s production of Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No. 3 arranged for 12 pianos and organ. He has also performed widely in churches from California to Germany.
  • Anthony Schnell ’21 first picked up a cello when he was in the fourth grade while taking part in an after-school enrichment program. As soon as he learned he could sit down while playing, he knew it was the perfect instrument for him. The following year, he attended his first Kadima Conservatory of Music Summer Music Seminar, and he has been passionate about music ever since. Anthony is the principal cellist of the University of Redlands Orchestra and is a student substitute player for the Redlands Symphony Orchestra. As a first-year student, Anthony was awarded the School of Music Freshman Honor Award for most outstanding freshman music major in scholarship, performance, and service. His performance this year marks the second time he has been chosen to perform in the President’s Honor Recital.