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Choir ready for fall concert

Heather Simmons

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CSU Bakersfield’s Doré Theatre will come to life with the sounds of the choir program’s fall concert on Saturday, Nov. 14 starting at 8 p.m.
This concert will feature performances by CSUB’s University Singers and Chamber Singers under the direction of Dr. Angel Vázquez-Ramos, who is new to CSUB this quarter.
“One of the most exciting personalities to appear on campus during my tenure…is that of Dr. Angel Vázquez-Ramos,” said Dr. Robert Provencio, CSUB’s former choir director.
“He’s just a tremendous asset and someone who is going to take our choral program…to a whole new level.”
Choir students respond similarly.
“He’s doing an excellent job preparing us, motivating us and keeping us accountable,” said Jordan Espiritu, vice president of the CSUB Singers club.
The concert will also feature a combined choir that will include CSUB students, community members and students from high schools around Kern County. This festival choir will perform under the direction of guest conductor Dr. Z. Randall Stroope, an internationally recognized conductor and composer who acknowledges the importance of vocal music.
“[Vocal] expression … is part of all humanity. It’s a gift to be enjoyed, developed and better understood,” said Dr. Stroope, who is the director of choral and vocal studies at Oklahoma State University. “I welcome the opportunity to combine forces with university and community groups to make this concert a success.”
Espiritu said that the concert will be “super exciting.”
“To have the high schoolers join us for such a big-name star is a once-in-a-lifetime chance. How many times can you say you performed with a prominent composer who’s still alive?”
The concert material will represent a variety of languages, styles and time periods, including songs in Latin, Spanish and Haitian, Renaissance pieces, contemporary choral music, and songs with lyrics by famous names in literature such as Charles Dickens and William Butler Yeats, as well as Dr. Stroope’s own compositions.
Dr. Vázquez-Ramos said that the concert pieces were selected to “develop us into the choir we want to be for the future.”
“I think this might be one of the best concerts we have [had] since I’ve been here, and I’m a junior now,” said Karina J. Ramirez, president of the CSUB Singers.
Dr. Vázquez-Ramos hopes that students who attend the concert will want to become involved in the program themselves.
“One of my dreams for our choir program is that it becomes an integral part of the student life…not only for music majors, but…students all across the campus.”
Dr. Provencio believes that the concert promises its audience more than just entertainment.
“In the world of choral music, there is unity, there is togetherness, there is the striving with each other to create a thing of beauty, and at the end there’s harmony… I think that we are changing hearts and minds always for the good. I think the world needs all the choral music it can get.”
This event is free to students with a CSUB ID, $5 for other students and seniors and $10 for general admission. Tickets can be bought at the Box Office starting at 7 p.m. that evening.

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The Student News Site of California State University, Bakersfield
Choir ready for fall concert