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Westmont Vocal Recital Offers High Notes, Drama

March 23 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm PDT

Two Westmont voice instructors will join forces in a recital, “A Song Celebration,” on Saturday, March 23, at 4 p.m. in Deane Chapel on Westmont’s lower campus. The performance is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the music department at (805) 565-6040.

Chad Ruyle and Neil Di Maggio (Courtesy)

Tenor Chad Ruyle and Soprano Nichole Dechaine, who have taught vocal performance lessons at Westmont for four and 19 years respectively, will perform selections including Copland’s “Old American Songs,” along with song favorites by Faure and Debussy, Mahler and Clara Schumann. They will also perform operatic arias from Puccini’s “Gianni Schicchi,” Massenet’s “Manon” and Bernstein’s “Candide” and “West Side Story.”

Collaborative pianist Neil Di Maggio says the recital provides an opportunity for musicians to hone their craft. “We often get so busy teaching and doing the stuff of life, we lose track of why we became musicians in the first place — the love of a moving performance, the shared experience with each other and the audience,” he says. “It’s also been an opportunity to make new friendships and deepen long-standing ones. We hope that this will inspire our students and that the beautiful pieces of music we share with the public will be meaningful.”

Nichole Dechaine (Courtesy)

Dechaine, an active performer with UCSB, Opera Santa Barbara, the Music Academy of the West and the Amherst Early Music Festival Baroque Academy in Connecticut, graduated from the University of Redlands and earned a master’s degree and doctorate from UCSB, where she taught for six years.

Ruyle, who has also been on the music faculty of Allan Hancock and Cuesta Colleges, earned a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance from California State University, Fullerton, and a Master of Music in vocal arts from California State University, Northridge.

Di Maggio, an active performer and collaborative pianist for Westmont, earned a bachelor’s in piano performance from San Jose State University, a Master of Music in piano performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and a Master of Music in collaborative piano at UCSB.

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