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Choral Holiday Concert Kick’s Off Holiday Season

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The Choir sings one song from its set at San Marino Community Church.

The Choir sings one song from its set at San Marino Community Church.

Rakel Ang

Rakel Ang

The Choir sings one song from its set at San Marino Community Church.

Skyler Pak

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The Halls of San Marino Community Church were decked with holiday cheer as San Marino High School’s Vocal Music Department presented friends and family with an abundance of winter arrangements at the Choral Holiday Concert on December 8 from 7-9 P.M.

 

At the event, students from the Sirens Women’s Choir, Apollo Men’s Chorus, Concert Choir, and Chamber Choir all performed songs with their groups.

 

“I always try to choose the songs that will fit the voices in the ensemble, and that is different every year,” Mrs. Alderman said. “This concert has a holiday/winter theme, so I make sure to include some familiar pieces in the mix.”.

 

The songs selected represented cultures and composers from all around the world. Students sang winter songs from the English caroling tradition, Estonia, Venezuela, Catalonia, and California. The diverse music selections we’re difficult.

 

“The most challenging part was learning the music. It takes a lot of time, and with so much to learn it almost seems impossible, but we did it,” sophomore Logan Wing said.

 

Ben Stanton, a new accompanist, created an original arrangement of “The Christmas Song” that was presented by the Chamber and Concert Choirs.  

 

Special education teacher Mrs. Tamara Garcia joined the choirs for several pieces while she played the bass clarinet, and her husband, Joe Garcia, played the flute.

 

The audience had the pleasure of experiencing the World Premiere of “Jean,” performed by Chamber Choir. The song is a poem by Robert Burns that was arranged by composer Vicente Chavarría. Chavarría and Alderman studied together at USC and the two collaborated on developing the piece. Chamber is producing the recording for the song that will be published by Alliance Publishers in January. “I’m really proud of these kids for taking this poem and bringing it to life,” Ms. Alderman said.

 

“My favorite songs to sing at the concert were Ave Maria and Caroling Fantasy,” sophomore Heein Kim said. “Ave Maria was the Concert Choir women piece. When we first started this piece, we never thought we would be able to learn it because of all the dissonances in the music, so it was a great accomplishment when we pulled through.”

 

The finale was a performance by all of the choirs combined –  a powerful closing piece of “Caroling Fantasy,” which included percussion, flute and handbells. The evening ended with rapturous applause from the appreciative audience.

 

The Vocal Music Department will present “Love Notes” on February 9 in the SMHS foyer.

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Choral Holiday Concert Kick’s Off Holiday Season