Shot of Maria Carrillo choir performance (Photo: Alexa Rios,The Puma Prensa)
by Alexa Rios, staff writer
Due to COVID-19, it has been 22 months since the last live choir performance, and this year’s fall concert, “The Awakening” really came through as the first choir show of the year. Even though all the singers wore masks, their powerful vocals shot through the theater, sounding as clear as if no masks were there at all.
This fall concert featured performances by Jazz Choir, Chamber Singers, and the Concert Choir. The first thing that stood out to me was the use of handbells that were gifted to the Choir Department a few years ago. One song that the chamber singers played was the Beatles’s “Eleanor Rigby,” and out of the songs including handbells, this was my favorite. The bells had light clinks and were played ever so delicately. It sounded exactly like the exact same Beatles recording everyone is familiar with. They played them so effortlessly, making it look easy in a way. They hit all the notes and were on tempo, too!
My personal favorite of the night, handbells or no, of the evening, had to be “Sleep,” by Eric Whitacre, performed by the Chamber Singers. Just, wow. This song was presented in such an eloquent way. It was sung in the dark, which added to the atmosphere and the total ambiance of the song. The vocals were perfectly synchronized. It was such an extraordinary performance—the vocals sounded angelic. It felt as if all their emotions, like sadness, moodiness, were poured onto the song.
One more note to add: The baritones blew me away. The voices were just amazing! They paired so well with the tenors to create captivating harmonies. It was perfectly paired especially when the concert choir sang the first song, “The Soul Behind The Eyes,” it was extremely impressive.
I can safely say those choir performances this year should be something to look forward to. They are definitely a must-hear and something I will be attending.