Azusa Pacific University Symphony Orchestra | Susanna Cervantes, Graduate Conductor
Recorded Nov. 10, 2018 at the Haugh Performing Arts Center, Glendora CA
Copland wrote the score to the film version of Thornton Wilder’s play in 1940. Comparable to Copland’s other orchestral suite, Appalachian Spring, Our Town is smaller in scale, but holds the same traditional Copland characteristics: the sunrise wake up call in the beginning, the call and response, exploiting the reflective quality of the woodwinds, brass chorales, and the desperately aching sounds of the strings.
He explained, “For the film version, they were counting on the music to translate the transcendental aspects of the story. I tried for clean and clear sounds and in general used straight-forward harmonies and rhythms that would project the serenity and sense of security of the story.” It is dedicated to Leonard Bernstein.
Su Jin Susanna Cervantes is professional freelancer actively working in the greater Los Angeles area. As a cellist, Susanna has played in multiple ensembles such as Hollywood Youth Orchestra, USC Thornton Symphony, and APU Symphony Orchestra.
She has also performed in multiple chamber groups performing works by Barber, Brahms, Borodin, Franck, Mendelssohn, Rachmaninoff, and many more. She has performed in masterclasses with Daniel Hoffman, Lynn Harrell, and Alisa Weilerstein. In addition, she frequents in collaboration with singer-songwriters such as Sleeping At Last, whose hits are featured on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy; grammy-nominated artist, Michelle Bloom; British Christian singer-songwriter, Matt Redman; and singer/actress, Jackie Tohn.
Susanna is an academic instructor at Orange County School of Arts, teaching String Literature and Music History. She is also a strings coach for the Symphony Orchestra at San Marino High School. Since 2011, Susanna has been a pianist and a music associate at First Baptist Church of Glendale, facilitating services and contracting musicians for the church. Susanna has been teaching cello privately throughout Southern California since 2010.
Susanna has received her BM in Cello Performance from Azusa Pacific University, and is currently studying with Professor Christopher Russell at Azusa Pacific University and will receive her MM in Instrumental Conducting in May of 2019.