Thomas Melton II and Daniel Esperante will perform in concert at Trinity Episcopal Church at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, featuring all Baroque pieces for organ/harpsichord and flute by Bach, Telemann, Böhm and Handel.
Melton, a Northern California native, began music studies at age 6 beginning with piano and violin playing with his church orchestra as well as the Youth Orchestra of Fresno. By age 12 he added organ to his list of instruments and became the organist for Fresno Central Seventh-day Adventist Church.
He competed in several competitions for young organists in the Central Valley. Melton studied organ under professor Judy Glass at Southern Adventist University, served as organist at Rivermont Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga, tennessee, and completed his bachelor’s degree in music in May 2018.Daniel Esperante was born in Sagunto, Spain, but was raised in Redlands. He also got an early start in music playing the flute by the time he was 7 and also received his bachelor’s degree from Southern Adventist University (SAU) where he studied under Kristen Holritz, principal flautist of the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra.
The two men, who had collaborated musically at SAU, were eager to continue their partnership upon their return to California.
“I grew up in Redlands,” said Esperante, “but I wasn’t actively sharing music in my local community. When I went to university in Tennessee, I was very involved in the community there. I realized I had missed many opportunities to do so at home. As a result, Thomas and I decided to be proactive and create opportunities to share our music in this wonderful town.”
As to the choosing of an all-Baroque concert, Melton explained, “As we considered pieces we realized we were favoring music all from the Baroque period. We decided to run with the idea and capitalize on it.
“In our experience, early music doesn’t get much representation anymore. Besides, for selfish reasons, early music can be very complex and technically demanding so this presented us with the opportunity to challenge ourselves musically.”
Melton serves as organist at the La Sierra University Church and frequently substitutes at Hollywood Presbyterian and St. John’s Cathedral in Los Angeles. While preparing for graduate school, Esperante teaches guitar and is a flute teacher and woodwind quintet coach for Loma Linda Academy. Trinity’s Music Missional Objective committee will host a reception following this free concert event. Trinity Episcopal Church is at 419 S. Fourth St.