2018 Concerto Concert
60th Annual Concerto Concert
The Department of Music is delighted to celebrate the 60th Annual Concerto Concert during the 2018 Alumni Homecoming Weekend this April. The event will take place at the La Sierra University Church on Sunday evening, April 22nd at 7:00p. The concert will feature the 2018 Marcia Specht-Guy Concerto Winner, Anthony León, tenor (junior vocal major at La Sierra University), during the first half of the concert. The second half will present Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and feature four of our amazing music alumni members: Stephanie Jones, soprano (class of 2012), Kimberly Sogioka, mezzo-soprano (class of 2003), Timothy Gonzales, tenor (class of 2009), and Abdiel Gonzalez, baritone (class of 2008).
MARCIA SPECHT-GUY CONCERTO COMPETITION
In 1951 Marcia Specht was the first La Sierra student invited to perform as a soloist with the La Sierra College Orchestra, then directed by Alfred Walters. A student of Ralph Pierce, a noted pianist and adjunct professor of music at La Sierra, Marcia played the first movement of Piano Concerto No. 1 by Beethoven. Following her graduation from Loma Linda University School of Nursing in 1954, she married Fritz Guy, La Sierra College class of 1952.
After her death in 2006, Marcia’s family and friends established the Marcia Specht-Guy Concerto Prize, awarded each year to the winner of the annual concerto competition, to honor her memory and encourage student performance of classical music.
|2007 – LAURA TRUPP, violin
2008 – JULIA PARK, piano
2009 – YIJIA ZHANG, violin
2010 – YIN LI, cello
2011 – YUAN YUAN, violin
2012 – CASEY HOEHN, trumpet
|2013 – ALEXANDER KNECHT, viola
2014 – JONATHAN MAMORA, piano
2015 – JULIAN JENSON, piano
2016 – SUSANA LEIVA, soprano
2017 – SHUO MA, cello
2018 – ANTHONY LEÓN, tenor
General Admission will be available at the door on the day of the event starting at $15:
- General Admission $15
- Seniors 55+ $10
- La Sierra University Alumni & Employees $10
- Students (any school) $5
Discounted and special alumni rates are available online by clicking here.
Proceeds from this event go towards projects like the student scholarship fund and outreach opportunities. For more information about the Department of Music, please email
Anthony participated in his first stage role in 2016 as the principal character, Frederic, in the operetta, The Pirates of Penzance, by Gilbert and Sullivan at La Sierra University and has since then performed as the Witch in Englebert Humperdinck’s opera Hansel and Gretel at La Sierra University. In 2018, Anthony will star as Tamino in La Sierra University’s production of Wolfgang Mozart’s great opera The Magic Flute.
In the summer of 2017, Anthony had the great opportunity to go on tour throughout Europe with the La Sierra University Wind Ensemble playing the saxophone and singing. Together, they premiered various pieces written specifically for the wind ensemble, including his own piece, “Tus Ojos”. “Tus Ojos” is Anthony’s first compositional endeavor and was written with the poetic words of his grandfather, Luis Alfonso Bolivar, set to music by Anthony, his grandson. The world premiere of “Tus Ojos” was performed by Anthony Leon and the La Sierra University Wind Ensemble in Prague, Czech Republic and later performed in Tulln, Austria, and Rome, Italy.
Notable honors that Anthony has received include 3rd prize in the 2015 Promising Young Artist Scholarship Competition Recital, 1st prize in the 2016 Marguerite Marsh Vocal Competition, selection as a 1st prize winner for the 2016 Redlands Bowl Young Artist Competition, 1st prize for the 2016 Raincross Chorale Competition, and 1st place in the 2017 Hal Leonard Vocal Competition, which is the first vocal competition to be held totally online. Most Recently he won the 2018 Grand Prize, the Spetch-Guy award, for the 60th Annual Concerto Competition at La Sierra University. He will accept this award and perform at the Alumni Homecoming concert April 22, with full orchestra.
Anthony has had the privilege of being involved in many recording projects. The first of which was a saxophone solo album when he recorded when he was 14 years old, Fill the World With Love, produced by his friend and fantastic musician Sergio Leiva. He has done many more recording projects with Sergio including three albums with the group United from La Sierra University, Live in Concert, True Light and their most recent Christmas album. He’s also recorded family project called, Together We Will Praise. Anthony has toured all over the United States and the world with his recordings, singing in various places in the USA and in countries like Puerto Rico, Colombia, and Chile.
He has been involved with various musical groups in La Sierra University, as he loves to use his musical talents for various types of musical experiences and is currently involved or has been involved with the La Sierra University Chamber Singers, La Sierra University Chorale, UNITED Vocal Group, La Sierra University Saxophone Quartet, La Sierra University Jazz Combos, La Sierra University Wind Ensemble, and La Sierra University Big Band.
Stephanie Jones, soprano, is currently pursuing a Graduate Certificate at the University of Southern California where she studies with Elizabeth Hynes. This past November she performed the title role in USC’s production of Handel’s Alcina. She was also featured as Margarita Xirgu in USC’s 2016 fall production of Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar. This past summer she had the privilege to travel to Fiji as leader of the Music Ministry for Orange Coast Church. In the summer of 2016 she was highlighted at the Aspen Music Festival and School as Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte and the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro in the scenes program. Last spring, she performed as Wife 1 and Trude von Gunten in the concert premiere of Thomas Morse and Ken Cazan’s Frau Schindler. She also performed as Erma from Lee Hoiby’s Something New for the Zoo. She won second place in the senior division of the Intimate Opera Company’s 9th Annual Vocal Competition. She performed Diane in Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride, the Second Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, and Rosalinda in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus. She sang in musical theatre productions as Sister Sophia in The Sound of Music, Golde in Fiddler on the Roof, and Stephanie in Godspell. In the summer of 2011, she was invited on scholarship to be a part of Intimate Opera Company’s summer vocal workshop where she performed as the Abbess in Suor Angelica and chorus in Trial by Jury. In addition, she won and received scholarships and grants from The Riverside Opera Guild, The Raincross Chorale and Opera Buffs. She is featured as a solo artist in recitals across Southern California. In Opera Scenes productions, she performed Idamante in Idomeneo, Hanna in Die Lustige Witwe, Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw, Sister Helen in Dead Man Walking, the Countess in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, the mother from Hansel & Gretel, and the old maid in Menotti’s The Old Maid and The Thief. She graduated, with honors, and received her BA in Music with vocal emphasis from La Sierra University, where she studied with Dr. Raejin Lee. She recently received her Master’s from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, where she studied with Cynthia Munzer and Angela Blasi. She sings at Orange Coast Church, Claremont United Church of Christ and with the USC Chamber Singers. She is thankful to God, her family and friends for their continuing support and guidance.
Praised by Opera (UK) as “…the most opulent female sound on the stage…” young mezzo-soprano Kimberly Sogioka is drawing much attention as an exciting artist on opera and concert stages. This season, Kim sings with Symphony Silicon Valley’s Misa Tango concert, which explores the style of the Argentine tango in the form of large-scale orchestral compositions as opposed to its origins as dance music.
Last season, Ms. Sogioka reprised the role of Stephano in Roméo et Juliette with Tampa Opera and sang the role of Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Grand Rapids. Additional recent engagements include Carmen in scenes from Carmen with the Metropolitan Opera Guild, workshops of Bruce Wolosoff’s The Great Good Thing and Sarah Mattox’s Heart Mountain, and productions with Michigan Opera Theater as Siébel in Faust and Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, which she also performed with Northern Lights Music Festival. She also performed the role of Stephano in Roméo et Juliette in a new co-production with Opera Carolina, Virginia Opera, Toledo Opera, Lyric Opera Baltimore, and Opera Grand Rapids.
A frequent collaborator with composers on new music projects, Ms. Sogioka created the role of Nurse 3 in The Metropolitan Opera and English National Opera workshop of Michael Torke’s Senna, was a mezzo soloist in The Metropolitan Opera workshop of Scott Wheeler’s The Sorrow’s of Frederick, collaborated with Clint Borzoni in his operas Margot Alone in the Light and Antinous and Hadrian, and also with Stephen Andrew Taylor in scenes from his opera Paradises Lost with Operamission. Other recent performances include the title role in Bizet’s Carmen with the Crested Butte Music Festival as a member of the Marcello Giordani Young Artist Program, Susanna in Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles with the Aspen Opera Theatre Center, Nerone in Agrippina with Operamission, and Dulcinée in Massenet’s rarely performed Don Quichotte with Utopia Opera.
Also in demand as a concert artist, appearances have included the west-coast première of Mack Wilberg’s Requiem, Irving Fine’s The Hourglass and An Immorality by Copland with The National Chorale at Avery Fisher Hall, Das Lied von der Erde with the Orchestra Insonica at Paul Hall, Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle with the Greenwich Choral Society and Mozart’s Requiem with the Camerata New York. Ms. Sogioka also collaborated with renowned harpsichordist Kenneth Cooper, in selections from Bach’s Weihnachts-Oratorium, and also performed as part of his master class series for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
Ms. Sogioka was the first-place winner of the Rochester Oratorio Society’s Classical Idol Competition, as well as winner of the Audience Favorite Award and second place winner in the New Jersey State Opera Alfredo Silipigni Vocal Competition. She also made her off-Broadway début in the New York Musical Theatre Festival singing the role of the Evangelist Narrator in Gerald Fried’s Omnia ad Dei Gloriam (or Les the Least Straightens the Lord).
Mexican American tenor Tim Gonzales has been lauded for his “bright, sweet, tenor voice” and for having an “emotionally and musically engaging” presence on stage. Most recently he was seen singing the tenor solos in Orff’s Carmina Burana which he also performed to great acclaim with the Los Angeles Master Chorale in Disney Hall. Mr. Gonzales made his debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2014 in its production of I Pagliacci, singing the role of Another Villager under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel. Mr. Gonzales returned to the Phil to perform the role of Posterity in the Form of Descarte in the world premier of Andriessen’s Theater of the World.
At home in concert as well as in opera, Mr. Gonzales has been the soloist in Verdi’s Requiem, Händel’s Messiah, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and Mass in C, Haydn’s Creation, Mozart’s Requiem and Mass in C Minor, the Evangelist in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and St. John Passion, Vaughn Williams Five Mystical Songs, Britten’s War Requiem and many others.
A stalwart proponent of new music, Mr. Gonzales was recently heard in Nico Muhly’s The Elements of Style and Scott Worthington’s newly commissioned piece titled Noises with the Los Angeles based new music consort, wasteLAnd.
He was a first-place winner in the San Bernardino/Riverside District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions as well as in the Redlands Bowl Young Artists Competition.
Puerto Rican baritone Abdiel González has been praised for his “rich, lush baritone” and for having a “superb voice, which commanded the stage.” He has appeared as a concert soloist under the batons of Gustavo Dudamel, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Grant Gershon, to name a few. He is equally at home on the operatic stage, having performed over 30 roles, as well as on film and television, having appeared in four television shows and sung in over 20 films, including Disney’s Coco, Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Most recently, he was a soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Boca Del Rio Orchestra in Veracruz, Mexico for the inaugural concert of a new state of the art performing arts center, with the President of Mexico in attendance.
LA SIERRA UNIVERSITY CHURCH
4937 Sierra Vista Ave, Riverside, CA 92505
University Campus Security 951-785-2222
- Take exit 54 for Pierce St. which turns into Riverwalk Parkway
- Turn left onto Sierra Vista Ave
- Turn right onto Pierce Street and the Church will be on your left-hand side