La Speranza Presents ‘Bach and Friends’ Concert


Courtesy of Fair Star Photography

Andrew Schneider will accompany (from left) Nadia Witherspoon, Francis Koiner, Yvonne Smith, and Joanna Becker for a performance featuring the music of eighteenth century European composers.

The sounds of Baroque music will fill Corbin Hall on April 19 when the music department of San Jacinto College Central Campus presents Bach and Friends, a concert featuring La Speranza performing pieces from the famed eighteenth-century composer and his contemporaries.

La Speranza is a chamber music group of string and wind players that performs selections from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras. According to its website, the group puts on “historically informed performances” where the musicians remain true to the music as it was conceived.

Moreover, founding member Yvonne Smith said the group’s concerts explore the connection between music and wellness. 

“La Speranza comes from the Italian word for ‘hope,’” she said. “I came up with the name through our mission to uplift others through our performances.”

The line-up of musicians varies between performances, but the group has a core of four members that include Smith, Nadia Witherspoon, Joanna Becker and Central Campus adjunct Music Professor Francis Koiner. Harpsichord player Andrew Schneider will accompany the group during this performance.

Koiner, also the event sponsor, said the concert gives attendees the chance to hear music for various combinations of violin, viola, cello, as well as the harpsichord in a manner faithful to the composer’s work.

She added, “… I wanted the music students to have an opportunity to hear music from an important period in music history, relevant to their studies, performed as closely to its original intent as we are able to imagine.”

Likewise, Smith said concertgoers will be treated to the work of European composers performed on instruments similar to those from 300 years ago.

“While these instruments do not match the power of modern instruments,” Smith said, “they embody a warmer, more visceral sound, that will translate well to the intimate setting of Corbin Hall…”

Bach and Friends featuring La Speranza takes place at 7 p.m. on April 19 in Corbin Hall of the Monte Blue music building (C5) on the Central Campus.  


Mirian Umana contributed to this report.