Playing with her band the Vinyls, Nicole Pond along with Eric Davis, drums, and Kurtis Frost, bass, rehearses for her Senior Recital on Friday. The Vinyls were formed in Upland in 2006. The band is influenced by a wide range of music styles, including blues, punk, neo-traditionalist country and alternative rock.
From classical rock to contemporary, last Friday night’s senior recital featured a variety of guitar renditions that brought Founders Auditorium to life.
The recital, featuring senior Nicole Pond and special guest guitarists, was performed in two parts the first being mostly classical guitar pieces.
The concert started off with a few Renaissance pieces sung by Michael Fausto, a senior music major, and accompanied by Pond on the guitar.
The solo pieces played by Pond demonstrated her ability and skill to play difficult pieces with ease, including a rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” made popular by the movie “The Wizard of Oz.”
“One of my favorite pieces from the classical guitar section was the version she (Pond) did of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow,’ senior performer Diara Smith said. “It was a very pretty classical twist on the song from the ‘Wizard of Oz.’”
Pond played a total of six solo pieces, all of which showcased her unique talent, which she attributes to her father.
“I got into music mostly because my dad played guitar. I wish it was a more exciting story but really my dad played and I thought it was a really cool thing to do,” Pond said. “I tried my hand at it and was terrible; it hurt my fingers but, like anything else, the more I practiced the better I got.”
In the first half of the show Pond shared the stage with a few other performers including Smith, who performed a more upbeat jazz piece that contrasted well with the classical pieces that preceded it.
“I thought my song went well and I was told that it helped spice up the atmosphere,” Smith said.
Also performing in the recital were two guest guitarists, Lance Kuyper and Stu Stoddard who collaborated on a Gaspar Sanz piece, and Kuyper alone performed a Bach piece.
Pond’s band, the Vinyls, took the stage the second half of the show. Their performance brought a new atmosphere to the evening.
They played four of their original singles including “Candle,” “If,” “Conflicted,” and “Wait.” In addition they played covers of “Little Wing” by Jimi Hendrix and “Stormy Monday,” a blues song originally by T. Bone Walker.
During the performance of “Conflicted” people from the audience abandoned their seats and danced by the stage, giving the feel of a real rock show.
“The second half of the show was really interesting and made me feel like I was at a real rock concert,” audience member Christopher Bin said. “It was cool.”
At the end of the show the audience demanded an encore which prompted the Vinyls to play an electric guitar piece.
Pond sang while her bassist, Kurtis Frost, took a break. He jokingly left the stage, making it seem he was refusing to do an encore.
At the same time their drummer, Eric Davis, walked around the stage and around the audience shaking a shaker, which made the audience laugh.
During the encore the band also played two more songs including “Dani California” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, getting the audience up on their feet.
“The performance went just as well as I'd hoped. I felt strangely comfortable playing all of the classical music which is usually the biggest challenge for me,” Pond said.
“The electric half of the recital went smoothly; we had people up and dancing towards the end which made me really happy,” Pond added.
Overall the recital was well received and well worth attending for all those in the audience.
Whether guests were fans of classical or electrical guitar music, the recital offered something to suit everyone’s musical taste.
“When it was all over I felt so relieved. It had been somewhat of a hectic day,” Pond said. “The question that I got all throughout the day was, ‘Are you nervous?’ which never helps with nerves, ever.” “Thankfully everything went very well and I was very happy with the outcome of the recital, Pond added.”
For more information on the Vinyls or to view some of their performances, visit myspace.com/vinylsmusic.
Lauryl Bakke can be reached at email@example.com.