Choral community continues to serenade

On April 26, the Green Music Center will be filled by the sound of harmonious voices as the Sonoma State Symphonic Chorus and Sonoma State Concert Choir perform at a combined event in Schroeder Hall. The vocal ensembles will be showcasing their individual sets that they have been hard at work preparing for.

“We have been practicing these songs all semester,” Concert Choir bass Joshua Lovell said. “It’s been challenging but I feel like we’re all ready.”

On top of all the hard work they have put in, the choirs have added a unique twist to both of their repertoires by having a song that adds a level of interaction with the audience, something that is sure to peak the interest of the crowd.

Schroeder Hall will be home to both the Symphonic chorus and Concert Choir for the April 26 concert. STAR // Brandon Sparks

Schroeder Hall will be home to both the Symphonic chorus and Concert Choir for the April 26 concert. STAR // Brandon Sparks

“In our first song, we will be standing around the audience,” Symphonic member August Perez said. “There will be sopranos, and then altos, and then tenors, and then basses all standing in a circle around Schroeder Hall. Instead of just standing on stage and singing, we’ll be surrounding the whole audience.”

While the Symphonic Chorus plans to envelop the audience in beautiful sound, the Concert Choir added a different fun spin to their set. The vocal ensemble will be performing a song in “complete gibberish” as described by Lovell. The song, “Nyon Nyon”, is not performed in any real language. Instead, members will be making different sounds and noises in harmony.

“We have a song that’s a lot more interactive, like we’re not just standing there still, almost boring,” Concert Choir member Cristian Ramirez said. “We actually have this ‘Nyon Nyon’ piece where there’s stomping, clapping, and a lot of sounds you make out of your mouth. Not like, noise, but there’s popping and stuff like that. It’s all over the place and I think it’s really enjoyable.”

“Gibberish” is not the only language these choirs have had to tackle for their sets. There are a total of four languages represented in this concert including English, Latin and German. Some of these foreign songs include “Sanctus”, “Heillig” and “Verleih uns Frieden Gnädiglich.” Certainly this adds a level of difficulty and may have presented some challenges for the choral groups, especially considering an increased level of complexity in the pieces compared to last semester. However, this is nothing that could not be overcome. 

“It has been somewhat trying with the different languages and difficulty of the pieces,” said Symphonic Chorus tenor Brendan Corr, “We have been practicing the languages a lot and although it is difficult to sing with a different language, I personally enjoy it very much.”

Another important aspect of this event is a Sonoma State alumni coming to sing with the Symphonic Chorus. He will be highlighted during his solo in the finale, Five Mystical Songs by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

“We have a really good baritone soloist named Rodrigo Castillo,” said Perez, “He’s going to be singing in our Ralph Vaughan Williams piece. He is amazing, like he has the most amazing, powerful baritone voice.”

The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. and runs for approximately two hours. Tickets are $8 for the general public but Sonoma State students and faculty can attend the performance for free. Everyone is encouraged to come support the choirs and have a good time.

“All I can say is that if you want to hear beautiful music sung by college students and community members then you should come.” Corr said.