The Halls Are Alive With The Sound of Music

Experience the sound of music at Cypress Hall

by Meliss Arteaga, Hannah Brunelli & Amanda Reveles

Photograph © 2016 by Meliss Arteaga


If there’s an underrated building at CSUN, it's Cypress Hall, also known as the department of music. Sure, it doesn't have a unique architecture or perfect bathrooms, but it does have soul. If you are a frequent visitor to the department, you are well aware that the melodies never stop, no matter what time of the day it is. In fact, the first thing you notice when you step in the building is the sound of imperfect melodies, waiting to be mastered into something that will be remembered. The pitches are low at dawn, and steadily become vibrant and alive in the evening.

Classical guitar performer Garrett Bower is a senior who spends most of his time in Cypress hall.

“I’m here til the sun goes down,” he said while playing on his guitar.

This place makes you want to just skip class and sit in the middle of the hallway, listening to all the harmonies sync as if it were already a song put together.  You close your eyes and think “this kind of music just soothes the soul,” as Bob Seger would say.

Another aspiring musician to walk among Cypress Hall is Joel Torres, a senior and trumpet player who has dedicated four years practicing so that he can help others get past tough times like he did.

“Music really helped me find a way in the storm,” Torres said. “I pretty much want to be a professional musician — help other people ... ‘cause everyone goes through storms.”

If you need to relax or need some music therapy, this is the place to be. What better way to kill time waiting for class to start than to drop by Cypress Hall and listen to melodies. Here, students glance and smile at you as if they already know you. Cypress Hall is usually filled with music majors who spend the majority of their time practicing, learning and playing music with feeling.

Nosa Tilmon is a music major in his junior year. He is a percussionist with a passion for jazz. His biggest goal is to be a jazz studies director like Dr. Howard Shear, who has played alongside  The Chuck Mangione Orchestra, Tony Bennett, George Benson, Mel Torme, Reno Jones, The Temptations and The Spinners. In fact, it was Shear who motivated Tilmon to continue pursuing music as a career.

“Asking him a question was so rewarding” and there was always a lesson to be learned, Tilmon said. On days Tilmon isn’t in class, he practices playing the Marimba and his drum set.

Performance major  Anthony Colli is a junior who also spends most of his time at Cypress Hall, but practicing his bass trombone. He strongly believes that music completes him as a person. Yet, it is incredibly hard to keep control of his emotions when he is playing. Keeping your emotions in balance with technique is something music professors at CSUN strongly advise, according to Colli.

“A lot of the things they teach us about being a musician here is just being in control, not letting yourself go,” Colli said. “At the same time you have to be expressive.”

Whether you’re a music major or just passing through, Cypress Hall guarantees an experience unlike any other at CSUN. Take a visit to the building with an open mind and you might just walk away with inspiration, a new friend, and a new understanding of the art form of music.