Classical Music Workshop Sessions on Thursdays Beginning March 15

The sixth session of the latest series of music classes will take place on Thursdays from 1 to 4 p.m. from March 15 to April 19 at the Senior Center, 280 Scott St. in Paso Robles. With this six-week class Ron Tarica will present American composers dating back to 1750.

Ron Tarica

The class will include the American Romantic period composers whose music is not heard much today. It will also include such famous composers as Scott Joplin, Stephen Foster and John Philip Sousa plus well known 20th century composers like Gershwin, Copland and Bernstein.

In each session Tarica will introduce background about the composers, sometimes with humorous anecdotes, and play excerpts of their music. The sessions consist of lecture, discussion and listening to classical music. Many of his students have found this to be a very pleasant way to spend an afternoon and even repeat the whole series multiple times.

Tarica discovered this passion for classical music at a young age when his parents, who were born in Italy, wanted him to learn to play the accordion. According to Tarica, he took lessons from the age of 7 to 17 and learned classical compositions written for piano. Though music had little to do with his chosen area of study at Illinois Institute of Technology and Northwestern University — Tarica received a doctorate in chemical engineering from the latter — he found time to sit in on music appreciation classes.

After a 28 year career with Chevron in the San Francisco Bay Area, Tarica and a fellow retiree developed this series of classes and taught them there from 1998 to 2005. In that year Tarica and his wife moved to the Central Coast to be near their son and family. That’s when he began teaching the classes on his own. He has been teaching the classes ever since on Tuesdays in Morro Bay, Wednesdays in Atascadero, and Thursdays in Paso Robles.

“I also sing with the San Luis Obispo Master Chorale and while my wife and I lived in Marin County we performed in a dozen or so operas,” said Tarica. “I really enjoy presenting these classes and it is very rewarding to enlighten people who may otherwise have dismissed classical music. Also, it opens up awareness that these composers are not just famous names but real people. I also present some history of each period.”

Most of the individuals who participate in the classes are retired, but really anyone can attend. “My hope is that people find a passion for classical music through my classes,” said Tarica.

To join in on the fun and learn more about the classics, just show up at the Senior Center on Thursday, March 15. The classes are free of charge.