A Choir Concert by California State University Long Beach Choir

On the sixth of January, 2011, I attended a performance which took place in San Ramon Valley High School’s Performing Arts Theatre. But much to my surprise, the high school’s choir wasn’t the only group performing. Another choir, consisting of 42 exceptional singers attending California State University, Long Beach, took the audience through many oohs and ahhs while they sang on stage. Of course, thanks to the college’s directors, Christine Guter and Jonathan Talberg, the performance, being my first one to attend, left me with a unique first impression.

Going back to the first couple songs, sang by the San Ramon Valley High School’s own women and men’s ensembles, they made a semi-formal appearance, wearing their uniform green shirts and khaki pants. I saw the comfort of their apparel, which made the singing even more enjoyable. With smiles on their faces and eyes sparkling bright, their moving choreography enhanced their singing of catchy as well as well known songs. The Jazz Vocal Ensemble had beautiful dresses for the ladies. The Long Beach choir had classic black, floor length dresses along with suits for their uniform. Though not exciting, they had great posture, which to me made the stage look a little more open. If I were to comment about the setting in general, the lighting was bright enough to see, the various instruments supplied the best music to the ear, the microphones worked to a good volume, and the seats were abundant.

After attending the performance, I was asked by my acquaintances how they sounded. A simple response, good, great, or even fabulous, didn’t cut it. So, I went into the details. My comments were mainly focused on the Long Beach choir’s performance portion because they took up most of the time of my attendance. Their voices blended as one, in unison. The balance between the different sections of the choir was well done, though the altos and sopranos took over time to time. Their pronunciation and diction was well practiced.

Aside from blending and balance, the performers’ tone was dark and rich. The breaths they took seemed silent and invisible. They definitely did not sound nasal or bright. Crescendos and decrescendos were often heard, and made the pieces very mysterious. Sforzandos were used as well, providing a sudden burst of sound, which at certain times, felt too harsh on the ear. As for tuning, well, considering they are top singers that went through auditions after auditions, you can believe that they were not off key. Well rehearsed music took care of any sharp or flat sounds that may have been produced.
As for my personal opinion on the most enjoyable song, I’d say “Don’t Stop Believing” sung by the San Ramon Valley High School’s choir was extraordinary as they turned it into their own version by adding a little spice audibly as well as facial expressions, and great choreography to go along with it. That song really got me smiling and ready to move. A little later into the performance came a song sung by the Long Beach choir, called “Duh Tvoy Blagih”. I did not particularly like that song for a couple reasons. I thought the dynamics changed too often, which became quite annoying due to the fact that the sound just blares and the next second, is hard to hear. Another thing is that all the parts had pretty much the same tune in different octaves. There was no overlapping, or mixing, which made it rather dull. Also, the song was in Latin, but unlike other songs in different languages, the facial expressions or tune of the song did not help me realize the theme of the song. But all in all, watching my first choir performance was phenomenal, and I’m already marking my calendar for the next one.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback