Joe Cornella, a talented cellist, created an amazing musical event this Friday, November 1, 2019. He, as a soloist, and his friends performed classical favorites at the Organ Hall at the Music Department of Arizona State University. He inspired such a festive and happy atmosphere for everybody – for the performers, and for the audience. The concert was named “Joe Cornella and friends” and that’s exactly how it felt – everybody on stage or in the audience was a friend of Joe Cornella’s.
As I was walking towards the Music Department, a young lady asked me where Organ Hall was, so I had company looking for it and finding it. We started talking and it turned out that she was invited by Joe, they were co-workers, and it was her first visit here, too.
While we were waiting for the doors to open, we were greeted by Joe’s Dad, met the family of another musician – we kind of guessed he will be performing from the excitement that was around him. When we sat in the hall, we realized that it was named after the instrument that was occupying the central part of the stage – a majestic organ. We sat on the third row to be able to see the musicians well. The family sitting next to us told us that they had seen Joe perform since a very young age. One of their kids, just as a real fan does, moved to the very first row, closest to the stage. The boy’s Dad said that he played piano himself, and each of his children had started playing piano at age 4.
The concert started with the warm and welcoming words by Joe, introducing the program and how he and friends put it together. Then he opened the concert with Monti’s Czardas, performed beautifully by him on cello, with piano accompaniment. And later we heard more czardas, of course, Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen. There was dance and singing, acrobatic steps on the stage, especially when the vocalist decided to take the cello away from Joe for a dance. We also heard an organ and cello concerto. Joe was the soloist, introduced the music and the musicians, and managed to do all this with ease and humor. The concert closed with Joe’s favorite piece by Dvorzak, with a violin and piano accompaniment.
Of course, there was encore. Cornella, who is a biology student at ASU, shared that he started playing cello at the age of 4, and has kept it throughout the years. His Mom, always encouraging him. At the encore, she jumped on the stage and accompanied him on the piano. Joe thanked his parents for their help with the concert and his friends who have supported him.
This is the second concert of its kind that he had organized.
I hope that he makes it a tradition and we can see more Joe Cornella and Friends concerts in the near future – classical music with a modern twist.