Merced college singers to take stage in chorale

05/17/2013 1:03 AM

05/17/2013 1:16 AM

From the silly to the sacred, the 2013 Spring Choral Concert by the Merced College Chorale and Chamber Singers has something for nearly every musical taste.

“Each song really is so different musically that it keeps the practicing as well as the performing exciting to experience,” soprano Lori Rupp said. “In order to make it all happen, even our animals’ noises from one song must have all the singers end up on the right chords.”

Alto Jan Bailey has performed with the chorale for 15 years and under three different conductors, Jackie Weeks Eck, Bill Pitzer, and now, Curtis Nelson.

“Being in the Merced Chorale all of these years with so many wonderfully talented conductors has been a highlight of my Tuesday evenings as we rehearse,” Bailey said.

She is delighted that the evening concert will be dedicated to the late Bill Pitzer in honor of his 30 years of service to the Merced College music department.

“We will miss Bill Pitzer as we dedicate the concert to him,” Bailey said.

Rupp believes that the experiences of lost friends and new ones bring depth and soul to their performances.

“New singers are with us and others no longer,” she said. “Together life will have spoken to us on the journey. The lyrics of the songs will be interpreted through our singing and the concert will be like no other.

“The concerts are always unique in that the singers bring their hearts touched and their lives moved with the richness and experience of another year,” Rupp said.

Pianist Patrice Stribling Nelson and a 10-member string ensemble will accompany the vocalists as they present selections ranging from American folk songs to a theme from “Harry Potter.” “A vibrant melodic piece called ‘O Nata Lux,’ will hold the audience breathless,” Bailey said.

“ ‘I Couldn’t Hear Nobody Pray,’ based on a traditional spiritual, will have everyone wanting to sing along in their seats, and we have the audience clapping to ‘Joshua (Fit The Battle Of Jericho)’.”

She is excited to hear “Gabriel’s Oboe” featuring an oboe solo by Levi Verrinder.

“The chorale in the background is absolutely magical,” Bailey said.

“(Levi) Verrinder, a high school senior from Le Grand, has been studying cello for just five years,” Curtis Nelson said, “yet has been a part of several orchestral ensembles and has been invited to participate in the Fresno Opera & Orchestra Summer Academy, which will be performing at Disney Hall in Los Angeles, home of the LA Philharmonic.”

The concert will close with “In The Morning Joy” by Mark Hayes.

“It is sure to be a favorite, with its meaningful message and moving piano as it flows together in a beautiful song of peace, love and joy,” Bailey said. “As you can see, there is something for everyone to come sit back and relax enjoy the pleasure of beautiful music, which we all enjoy being a part of.”

She hopes the music touches people in a special way.

“This is real joy that each of us feels as we spend the time creating something beautiful to hear,” Bailey said. “Come and share this special time with us and enjoy!”

If you go:

The Spring 2013 Choral Concert featuring the Merced College Chorale and Chamber Singers and conducted by Curtis Nelson will be held at 8 p.m. today at the Merced College Theater. Tickets are $8 advance, $10 at the door. Tickets are available at Gottschalk’s Music, Passadori’s, Peraino’s Jewelry and Gift Emporium, and the Merced College Bookstore. Tickets are also available at the door at 6:30 p.m. before each concert. For more information, call (209) 384-6284 or visit

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