by Shaelyn Saraceni
This delightful performance showcased the elegance of choral singing, and urged a desire to come Bach for more.
According to the Folsom Lake College Choir Conductor, Dr. David Newnham, in just his last three years of teaching the choir, it has grown from six members to eighty. The magnificent increase in numbers allows the choir to sound bigger and better. I never would have guessed (if I hadn’t already known) that the choir had only been practicing this music for seven weeks.
The concert also incorporated the Oak Ridge High School Chamber Singers, with conductor Natalie Fletterick. In addition, the high school performed “Take, O Take Those Lips Away” and “Under the Greenwood Tree” which displayed the small choirs diversity in both classy melodies and beautiful harmonies. “Under the Greenwood Tree,” though repetitive, was whimsical.
The Folsom Lake College Choir executed an intriguing synchronized dance with their first song, “The Rhythm of Life” (which they repeated again later in the concert for a pleasurable second helping). The dance included snapping, clapping, and bobbing. The choir exhibited “The Heavens are Telling” with an angelic trio of singers apart from the mass. Since there was two hours of time allotted for the performance, Alannah Wing was able to do a solo. She sang “Make Them Hear You” from Ragtime, the musical, which was an amazing choice for her vocal range. My favorite song of the night, which showcased the immense power of a large choir, was “Carmina Burana.” Though a popular song, the dark, warm harmonies made it a delicious treat. Newnham gave us what he called a “Costco sampler” of “Carmina Burana.” However, it was just enough to be satisfying, but I will be back for the rest, as he promises will come with the winter concert.
This preview concert was a fantastic experience, and for music nerds who appreciate accapella, choir, and classical music, I’d highly recommend seeing the next concert. Dr. Newnham directed these college students in only three weeks to sound like a professional choir. Obviously, there was tremendous motivation from all participants in the concert choir department, and I congratulate them for a very moving display. Post-concert, I interviewed an Alto performer in the choir, Gabriele Prejean. She shed some insight on what it is like to perform, and how music moves her when she said, “No matter what happens on stage, just keep going.” and that music provides her with an outlet to show passion and be herself. Good luck at UC San Fran Gabriele!
For students on the fence about joining choir, Dr. Newnham stated that the choir does not require an audition, but he may start a chamber choir along with the non-exclusive choir next year if the student numbers stay high. However, the chamber choir will require an audition (extra exclusive). Also, be sure to come out to the Harris Center at FLC this December 6th at 7:30 pm for the follow up concert, I know I’ll be there.
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